Plane carrying Covid-19 vaccines touches down at Malaysia's international airport

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – The plane carrying the first batch of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccines has touched down at KL International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang.

The Malaysia Airlines Flight MH604, an Airbus 330-300 aircraft operated by MAB Kargo (MASkargo), the cargo arm of national carrier Malaysia Airlines, landed at about 10.10am on Sunday (Feb 21).

The vaccines are now being unloaded from the plane under the watchful eye of the awaiting ground crew.

National news agency Bernama reported that Flight MH604, bearing the Jalur Gemilang livery to symbolise that the vaccine is for Malaysians, landed at 10.07am with the first batch of 312,390 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Upon landing, the process of transferring the vaccine, which was placed in the unit load device (ULD), from the cargo section of the aircraft to a truck belonging to logistics company DHL was carried out at the Advanced Cargo Centre (ACC) of KLIA.

Among those present to witness the historic moment were Health Minister Adham Baba, coordinating minister for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme Khairy Jamaluddin and Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong.

After the transfer process was completed, the truck was then escorted by police to a designated storage location as a safety measure.

The vaccine’s journey from the Pfizer plant in Belgium was handled by pharmaceutical company Pfizer and DHL under a joint partnership for the international transportation of the vaccine.

The vaccine left Puurs in Belgium and was in transit at the Leipzig Halle Airport in Germany, before continuing on its journey to Singapore for distribution to Asia-Pacific countries, including Malaysia.

The Health Ministry, on behalf of the Malaysian government, had entered into an agreement with Pfizer (Malaysia) on Jan 11 this year for the purchase of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

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