First shipment of Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine departs from Michigan plant

It was a momentous occasion at the Pfizer Plant in Portage Sunday morning as the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines were packed up and shipped out to Fed Ex and UPS Hubs, where they will be sorted and then delivered to more than 600 locations nationwide.

An estimated 3 million doses are expected to go out this week. The vaccine must be sorted at negative 70 degrees Celsius. While that alone makes distribution a challenge- Pfizer says GPS enabled censors will help track shipments and ensure they stay ultra-cold. 

Frontline healthcare workers will be the first people to get the vaccine. 

“We hand selected those team members,” said Carolyn Wilson, Chief Operating Officer at Beaumont. “Doctors, nurses, highest tier group. 11,000 fit into that category knowing we were only going to get 975, we did a lottery to offer first.”

Since Jan. nearly 300,000 American have died from COVID-19. Health experts hope the vaccine will help get the spread of the virus under control.

“This is an amazing period of time we’re going through, a health crisis like never before, but we are also seeing a development of a vaccine that we have never seen before,” said Dr. Adnan Murkarah with Henry Ford Health System. 

But how many people will get the vaccine once it’s widely available remains to be seen. There is talk of some employees mandating their employees get vaccinated.