The first doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine left the pharmaceutical company’s distribution center in Portage, Michigan, early Sunday morning en route to all 50 states. The 189 boxes containing 184,275 vials, which have to be kept in super-cold conditions, are being shipped by UPS and FedEx, who have teamed up to ensure timely distribution. The mass inoculation program was poised to begin Monday, and a further 400 boxes containing 390,000 doses were set to ship Monday for Tuesday delivery.
On Saturday, a further 207,000 new cases and more than 2,200 deaths were reported, bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. to more than 16 million.
“We expect 145 sites across all the states to receive the vaccine on Monday, another 425 sites on Tuesday, and the final 66 sites on Wednesday, which will complete the initial delivery of the Pfizer orders for the vaccine,” Gen. Gustave Perna, chief operating officer of the federal government's vaccine initiative Operation Warp Speed, said Sunday.