The first of many freezer-packed vials of the COVID-19 vaccine was delivered to distribution sites across the United States as the number of pandemic deaths in the country approached the terrifying 300,000 mark.
The introduction of the Pfizer vaccine – the first to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration – marks the biggest vaccination campaign in US history, which health officials hope the American public will support. The first shots are expected to be given to health care workers and nursing home residents starting Monday.
Rapid transport is key to distributing the vaccine, especially because it needs to be stored at very low temperatures. After packaging, the vaccines were flown from Pfizer’s office in Portage, Michigan, to Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, where the first cargo plane took off with a cargo of vaccines on board.
“This is a historic day,” said Richard W. Smith, who oversees operations in the Americas for FedEx Express, which delivers about 630 packs of the vaccine to distribution points across the country.