A light at the end of the tunnel shined on Sunday.
The light is many hopes of the beginning of the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. The first shipments of the coronavirus vaccine were shipped out of Kalamazoo, Michigan early Sunday morning.
The long-awaited Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was packed up and shipped off. Doses of the drug left the facility with scheduled destinations in all fifty states.
Dr. Ben Weston of the Medical College of Wisconsin released this statement
“It is encouraging to see that the FDA has approved the Pfizer vaccine and it will likely began shipping out to states this week. We continue to work on the federal, state, and local level to ensure that the vaccine reaches our phase 1a health care providers, EMS front line responders, and long term care facilities as fast and efficiently as possible. This is an exciting development-- an end is in sight. However, we must remember that the widespread vaccine roll out will not happen over days or weeks, but rather months. We have a difficult winter ahead and individual safety precautions and responsible behavior is more important than ever.“
UW Health will serve as a regional distribution hub for the vaccine.
“We will be storing that vaccine for our region and working with DHS to distribute it to places that may not have ultra-cold freezer storage,” said Dr. Matt Anderson in a pre-recorded video.
Dr. Anderson believes its central location within the state may have played a part in their selection.
“Being located within our region. Being a natural location for the vaccine to be distributed out from,” Anderson said. “Then from the large number of employees we will have to vaccinate. There can be some advantage to having that on site.”
FedEX and UPS will handle shipments of the vaccine as well. FedEX will handle the west and UPS will handle the east. TMJ4 News reached out to UPS and received this statement.
“UPS is proud to be a key player in the global public-private partnerships preparing to distribute vaccines to the world. We have significant knowledge and extensive expertise to meet the needs and demands for testing kit and vaccine distribution. Together with other critical players in these supply chains, we are ready to deliver what matters most. UPS is preparing highly orchestrated logistics and distribution services to support global lifesaving operations.”