Vastavam web: US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has begun shipping the first batches of its long-awaited and newly-authorised coronavirus vaccine out of a Michigan warehouse, setting in motion the biggest vaccination drive in American history at a time when the pandemic has killed nearly 300,000 people in the country. The first trucks carrying the COVID-19 vaccine for widespread use in the US pulled out of a Pfitzer manufacturing plant in Michigan on Sunday, en route to 636 predetermined locations, amid a botched government response that has made the US the worst-hit country in the world.
The US Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorisation to the vaccine on Friday, and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted on Saturday to recommend it for people age 16 and older in the US. With the winter holidays still ahead, experts warn that the pandemic could continue to get worse before the larger public receives the vaccination.
Under Operation Warp Speed, a total of 636 hospitals and clinics across the states will receive the vaccine this upcoming week. According to CNN, freight trucks carrying about 184,275 vials of vaccine departed the plant, and the combined 189 boxes of vaccine vials are expected to arrive in all 50 states on Monday. Another 3,900 vials are expected to ship later Sunday to United States territories, and 400 boxes packed with about 390,000 vials will ship Monday to arrive on Tuesday. Operation Warp Speed chief advisor Dr Moncef Slaoui told Fox News in an interview that they plan to have about 14 million doses of vaccine available and distributed in the US by the end of this year.
Those would be both Pfizer vaccine and the Moderna vaccine. “And the next month, we will have about 50 million to 80 million doses distributed in January, and another same number in February. So, 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 first-line workers, the health care workers, he said.