American Airlines Cargo team is preparing to transport the coronavirus vaccines (COVID-19). In mid-November, the airline began test flights, in conjunction with pharmaceutical and cargo partners, from Miami to South America in its Boeing 777-200 aircraft.
The test flights simulate the conditions necessary for the COVID-19 vaccine to test the thermal packaging and operational handling process that will ultimately ensure it remains stable as it travels around the world.
“A COVID vaccine is essential to the health and well-being of all and to our nation’s recovery. The American Airlines team is working with cargo, pharmaceutical and federal partners to get us ready to safely and quickly transport an approved vaccine, said American Airlines Cargo President Jessica Tyler.
Many vaccines, including COVID-19, require special handling to maintain a constant cold temperature throughout the trip. American has an established network of facilities and team members who specialize in temperature-controlled shipments and are familiar with handling the variety of requirements that different pharmaceuticals may need.
Vaccine shipments can be made in “active containers” with built-in temperature controls that regulate and monitor shipments during transport, or in “passive containers” that are refrigerated with cold packs or dry ice in a closed system designed to keep the product cold throughout its shelf life.
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