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Korean Air completes first cold-chain delivery of COVID-19 vaccine materials

Packages containing COVID-19 vaccine raw materials are loaded on Korean Air’s KE925 flight from Incheon to Amsterdam on Tuesday. (Korean Air)
Packages containing COVID-19 vaccine raw materials are loaded on Korean Air’s KE925 flight from Incheon to Amsterdam on Tuesday. (Korean Air)
In a country first, Korean Air transported raw materials used to make COVID-19 vaccine from Korea to the Netherlands on Tuesday, the company said Wednesday.

The South Korean flag carrier used a cold-chain system to deliver the packages weighing 800 kilograms, including containers and dry ice. Of the 800 kilograms, 208 kilograms is dry ice in special containers to keep temperatures below minus 60 degrees Celsius for some 120 hours – a threshold required to safely transport raw materials for some COVID-19 vaccines.

Tuesday‘s delivery marks the first of its kind by a South Korean airline.

In September, Korean Air formed a task force dedicated to transporting vaccines. Consisting of logistics experts, it was part of the airline’s efforts to prepare for the international shipment of vaccines against COVID-19 along with securing devices and facilities necessary for the task.

On Tuesday, the Korean government announced that it has secured doses of COVID-19 vaccine for 44 million people. The Transport Ministry said it would fast-track procedures for vaccine transportation and lift the cap on the maximum amount of dry ice on aircrafts to improve the effectiveness of the process.

By Yim Hyun-su (hyunsu@heraldcorp.com)
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