FIRST LOOK: COVID-19 vaccine doses leave Pfizer’s Michigan facility


PORTAGE, Michigan (KTRK) — Millions of doses of a COVID-19 vaccine were loaded Sunday into containers at drug maker Pfizer’s loading facility.

SEE ALSO: How Pfizer will distribute millions of COVID-19 vaccines to all 50 states in 2 days

An assembly line of workers began in the early morning hours pulling doses out of a freezer, boxing the vaccine and loading the units onto pallets so they could be placed on trucks at the Pfizer plant near Kalamazoo, Michigan. Dry ice, shipping labels and packing tape were on hand as the workers – donning masks, face shields and gloves – put together the packages inside the warehouse.

One forklift driver transported the boxes to a loading area where a second forklift driver was transferring the pallets from inside the facility onto a semitruck.

Shipments of the Pfizer vaccine will set in motion the biggest vaccination effort in American history at a critical juncture of the pandemic that has killed 1.6 million and sickened 71 million worldwide.

2.9 million doses will be distributed to 64 jurisdictions in all 50 states and five U.S. territories. Twenty-one days later, another 2.9 million doses will arrive at those same locations so those who received the first shot can get their second and final dose.

With help from FedEx and UPS, the pharmaceutical company said it believes it can deliver the entire first batch of vaccines within two days. Operation Warp speed officials said the vaccines will be delivered by Monday.

About 500,000 doses will be held on reserve at the Pfizer plant in Portage, Michigan, in case of an emergency.

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