Delivering COVID-19 Vaccines to Antarctica

Dec 8, 2021

Nine months after the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine was approved for emergency use in the UK, the crew manning the British Antarctic Survey’s (BAS) Rothera base for the long winter finally received their first dose of the vaccine. The scientists, engineers and support staff now have protection from the COVID-19 virus as visitors arrive for the Antarctic’s summer research season spanning October through February.

Delivering the vaccine to Rothera was a feat with a near 10,000 mile journey that began with a flight from Brize Norton with stops in Senegal and the Falklands. A small Twin Otter plane made the final leg of the trip to BAS Rothera.

Throughout the trip, doses of the vaccine required refrigerated storage temperatures of 2-8 degrees Celsius. The news story included below captures photos of the BAS winter doctor receiving Peli BioThermal temperature-controlled packaging with AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines for the 23-person crew.

To learn more about the trip to Antarctica and the region’s history with COVID-19, visit BBC News.

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