Pfizer vaccine shipments begin in US as cases rise

Pfizer employees clap after line workers finished packing boxes containing the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to be shipped at the Pfizer Global Supply Kalamazoo manufacturing plant in Portage, Mich., Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, Pool)

The first batch of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine began rolling out in the United States today following approval by the Food and Administration (FDA) on Friday.

Trucks carrying just over 184,000 vials of the vaccine left the Pfizer plant in Michigan, destined for all 50 states, even as cases in the country continue to spike.

The vaccines are expected to be delivered by Monday with an additional 3,900 vials to be shipped to US territories later today. Another 390,000 vials will be shipped tomorrow with arrival scheduled for the following day.

Though the FDA’s advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted for the vaccine to be given to people 16 and older in the US yesterday. The recommendation will still need to be accepted by the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr Robert Redfield, before vaccinations can begin.

The committee also recommended that healthcare workers and long-term care facility residents be first to receive the shots.

The US has seen a dramatic increase in its COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks, as deaths climb closer to the 300,000 mark. With the winter season expected to worsen the spread, the virus approval is a light for the dim health situation.