The first shipments of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccines were reportedly transported from the pharmaceutical company’s facility in Portage, Michigan early Sunday.
According to CNN, roughly 184,275 vials of the vaccine, spread across about 190 boxes, left the plant in freight trucks. The vials will reportedly be delivered to every state by the start of the coming week.
The company is also reportedly sending out an additional 390,000 vials on Monday.
The development comes several days after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted emergency authorization to the vaccine, which was produced by Pfizer and BioNTech, on Friday.
A day later, a panel of advisers for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also voted to recommend the medication be administered to those in the country ages 16 and older. The director of the CDC is expected to accept that recommendation, clearing the way for vaccines to be administered. The vaccine is 95 percent effective at staving off infection, clinical trials backed by the FDA show.
Army Gen. Gustave F. Perna, chief operating officer for the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed coronavirus vaccine program, said on Saturday that officials expect 145 “sites across all the states to receive the vaccine on Monday.”
He also said he expects another 425 sites will receive the vaccines on Tuesday “and the final 66 sites on Wednesday, which will complete the initial delivery of the Pfizer orders for the vaccine.”
Moncef Slaoui, chief scientist for the Trump administration’s vaccine initiative, said on Sunday that the government plans to have “about 40 million doses of the vaccine available to us and distributed in the US by the end of this year.”
“All in all, we hope to have immunized 100 million people which would be the long-term care facility people, the elderly people with comorbidities, the frontline workers, the health care workers,” Slaoui added. “We will have immunized about 100 million people by the first quarter of 2021.”