Swiss International Air Lines on Friday delivered nearly 2 million doses of finished COVID-19 vaccines to São Paulo from Zurich, the company said.
Spokesman Fabian Mettler declined to name the vaccine that was transported, citing customer privacy restrictions, but the shipment originated in Beijing. CanSino Biologics is located in the Chinese capital and has previously shipped its Ad5-nCoV vaccine to other countries for clinical trials.
Swiss WorldCargo said the 14 tons of vaccine were carried in 10 Envirotainer RAP e-2 containers, which kept the temperature cold within a range of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius — normal refrigerated temperatures. The temperature requirement also fits the CanSino profile.
Swiss did not indicate what type of plane was used, but data on FlightAware.com showed it was a regularly scheduled passenger flight with an Airbus A340.
Freight forwarder PGL Brazil arranged the shipment on behalf of the Brazilian Butantan Institute.
The Mexican government is close to finalizing a contract for an initial supply of the CanSino vaccine, a Mexican health ministry official said Thursday.
The CanSino vaccine is in late-stage trials and could be distributed early next year if the results are positive. New York-based Pfizer Inc.’s COVID vaccine has received regulatory approval in Mexico and could begin arriving as soon as next week, according to Reuters.