COVID-19

AstraZeneca vaccine reaches the South Pole

After an extraordinary journey spanning four continents, a shipment of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines has just arrived at the British Antarctic base at Rothera at the South Pole, inhabited by a handful of researchers.

• See also: EN DIRECT | The latest news on the coronavirus

The precious cargo, which will vaccinate the 23 people who end the winter at the base, left by military plane from the Brize Norton base (northwest of London), passing through Senegal and the Falkland Islands, before departing arriving in a small plane to the British research base located on the island of Adelaide, in the Antarctic Peninsula, according to the British Foreign Office.

The 16,000 km journey was completed in less than 92 hours, to ensure perfect preservation of the vaccine at controlled temperatures of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius.

“We deliver vaccines literally to the end of the world,” said Fergus Drake, director of the NGO Crown Agents who worked on the project with the British Ministry of Defense.

The Rothera Antarctic base accommodates about 20 people during the winter and up to 100 people during the southern summer, including biologists and meteorologists, engineers, a diver and a doctor.

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