As cases surge, UPS gets drones to deliver COVID-19 vaccines

When Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine first came out, it needed to be stored at minus 70 degrees Celsius – a temperature colder than the winter in Antarctica. But with the US Food and Drug Administration relaxing the temperature mandates for transportation and storage of undiluted vials, a new opportunity has opened up for delivery drones. And it’s an opportunity that delivery solutions company UPS is looking to leverage with the help of special cold chain packaging, developed specifically for drones.

The headline is that UPS’s delivery drones have received first-of-kind approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to carry alkaline and lithium batteries, which are needed to power temperature monitoring devices required by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for COVID-19 vaccine transport.

Following this approval, UPS has started COVID-19 vaccine deliveries via drones, beginning with the first delivery operation in Atrium Health Wake Forest…