AFKLMP carries Pfizer vaccines to Caribbean

By Rachelle Harry

This week, Air France KLM Martinair Cargo (AFKLMP) carried Covid-19 Pfizer vaccines to Bonaire and Aruba. 

The carrier used dry ice to keep the vaccines stored between the required temperature of -70 and -80 degrees Celsius.

Upon arrival, the vaccines were immediately stored in a temperature-controlled environment.

The flight was the first of several that will deliver vaccines to various Dutch Caribbean islands in the coming weeks.

Paul Blokhuis, Dutch State Secretary for Health, Welfare and Sport, commented: “Many people have been working flat out for a year to get the coronavirus under control in the Caribbean region of the Kingdom [of the Netherlands]. The first vaccines to reach all the islands this week mark a hopeful turning point in the struggle to end this crisis.”

Pieter Elbers, chief executive of KLM, added: “The arrival of the Covid-19 vaccine is very good news for us all. It brings us closer to ending the pandemic and the terrible crisis we have been facing worldwide for more than a year now.

“We worked with our cargo division in recent months to prepare swift and secure vaccine transport worldwide and we have now embarked on this highly complex and demanding task. Today’s transport is special because it is the first in a series of KLM flights to Bonaire, Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten (including Saba and Sint Eustatius) carrying Covid-19 vaccines.

“KLM has a long and unique history of cooperation with the islands and we enjoy a warm relationship with them as a result. The Caribbean part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is also going through a difficult time and we are proud and happy to be of service to their people in this way.”

AFKLMP handles more than 80,000 pharma shipments annually. The distribution of Covid-19 vaccines poses specific transport and security challenges and the division has developed a dedicated process to ensure swift, reliable and safe distribution.

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