Dry Ice Rules for Massive Covid-19 Vaccine Airlift Approved
A worker puts tubes into dry ice at a research and development facility in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S. (Photographer: Scott Eisen/Bloomberg)

Dry Ice Rules for Massive Covid-19 Vaccine Airlift Approved

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Rules allowing the rapid shipment of Covid-19 vaccines by cargo aircraft have been approved by U.S. transportation regulators.

The Transportation Department established safety requirements for carrying the potentially dangerous dry ice needed to keep some vaccines stable, the agency said in a press release Tuesday. It also set standards for carrying flammable batteries needed in the airlift and eased restrictions on how long flight crews involved in the effort can work.

“The department has laid the groundwork for the safe transportation of the Covid-19 vaccine and is proud to support this historic endeavor,” Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao said in the release.

The government’s “Operation Warp Speed” program has been seeding pharmaceutical companies to develop vaccines and creating an infrastructure for delivering them across the country. Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc. have requested emergency authorization for their vaccines.

Infections from the deadly virus are surging throughout the northern hemisphere. There have been more than 63.4 million cases worldwide with over 1.47 million deaths, and hospitalizations in New York City jumped the most Tuesday since April.

The Transportation Department has also issued emergency rules allowing truckers more flexibility to conduct Covid-related deliveries.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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