Korean Air flew in the first shipment containing Pfizer/BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine to South Korea on Friday, aboard an A330 flight from Amsterdam to Seoul.
Integrator UPS was in charge of organising the transport from the production plant in Belgium until loading onto the aircraft. Upon arrival in Seoul, the company’s trucks lined up to receive the shipments which made their way to vaccination centres in five cities, including the National Medical Center in Seoul.
“These deliveries are a culmination of public-private partnerships coming together in moving our world forward by delivering what matters,” said Doyoung Kim, managing director of UPS Korea.
“Together with the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency and other critical players, we are proud to have the opportunity to play a part in the fight against the COVID19 pandemic,” Kim added.
Korean Air has been at the forefront of the global vaccine distribution. Last month the carrier signed an agreement with Unicef for humanitarian and relief shipments of Covid-19 vaccines.
Pfizer’s vaccine requires ultracold temperature during transport, so the vials were packed in 21 custom-made boxes and loaded into special containers, the carrier explained. This type of vaccine requires two jabs taken at intervals, meaning the first shipment of 117,000 doses is enough for 58,500 people.
Payload Asia learned the country is prioritising around 50,000 medical frontliners, as well as the elderly and staff in nursing homes, in its vaccination roll-out.