United Airlines Begins Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Charter Flights

posted on 30th November 2020 by Eddie Saunders
United Airlines Begins Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Charter Flights

“The logistics of distributing the Pfizer vaccine, if proven to be safe and effective, will no doubt be a Herculean task,” George Mason University Professor Andrew Peterson told Fox News. “Beyond the challenge of physically transporting the vaccine by air and land to distribution centers across America and internationally, there are the additional obstacles of keeping the vaccine at sub-zero temperatures and monitoring deliveries for theft.”

Vaccine Tests and Authorizations

Pfizer requested emergency authorization of its vaccine last week, and the FDA chief anticipates such authorization could come as soon as the middle of December. The agency is holding a panel of outside advisors on Dec. 10 to help review the evidence of Pfizer’s vaccine and vote on whether the drug should be approved for general use in the U.S. The FDA could ratify the decision soon after.

Moderna, another drug company developing a coronavirus vaccine, has also reported promising data from its own trials. It expects to request FDA authorization of its own drug in December. If both Pfizer and Moderna’s drugs are approved next month, up to 20 million Americans, mostly at-risk people like healthcare and frontline workers as well as certain immunocompromised populations, could be vaccinated by the end of 2020.

Pfizer and Moderna both reported their vaccines to be at least 90% effective earlier in November, a major milestone in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and a notably high success rate for a vaccine of any type.

What’s In Store For Airlines?

This is the latest in a string of announcements that come as welcome news for an aviation industry that has faced its worst travel dropoff in history. Though the U.S. saw its highest passenger counts since March on Wednesday, passenger counts have yet to approach half of what they were a year ago – in the spring, daily passenger counts bottomed out at under 4% compared to 2019 figures.