“As a result of the historic pace of vaccine development through Operation Warp Speed and careful logistics planning, the FAA today is supporting the first mass air shipment of a vaccine,” the agency said in a statement Friday.
The FAA said it established a Covid-19 air transport team in October “to ensure safe, expeditious, and efficient transportation of vaccines.”
It said that several vaccines needed to be transported with dry ice and it was working with manufacturers, air carriers and airports to provide guidance on regulations to safely transport large quantities of the hazardous substance in air cargo.
Pfizer’s Covid vaccine, for example, requires large amounts of dry ice to keep it at approximately negative 75 degrees Celsius.
“In addition to mitigating safety risks related to the safe transport of vaccines, the FAA is ensuring around-the-clock air traffic services to keep air cargo moving and prioritizing flights carrying cargo, such as vaccines, and personnel critical to the nation’s response to and recovery from Covid-19,” Friday’s FAA statement reads.
Advisers to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday called an emergency meeting for Tuesday to vote on who they recommend should be the first to get a coronavirus vaccine once one is authorized.
The CDC’s Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices wants to have advice out to the public ahead of any decision from the US Food and Drug Administration about emergency authorization of a vaccine, ACIP chair Dr. Jose Romero told CNN.
Pfizer has applied to the FDA for EUA for its vaccine and biotech company Moderna is expected to do so soon.