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COVID-19 vaccine effort underway as first trucks leave Michigan plant

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Numerous rounds of applause broke out early Sunday as the first trucks were loaded with Pfizer’s coronavirus shot to start the biggest vaccination effort in American history.

Dozens of workers at a plant in Kalamazoo, Michigan, clapped and whistled as the first boxes were moved toward waiting FedEx trucks — and again when the first one was fully loaded and ready to hit the road.

A live feed had shown the workers starting at 6:30 a.m. loading pizza-boxed sized cartons containing vaccine vials from a freezer, placing them in large, blue coolers, before these were boxed and labeled.

The FedEx trucks were then to be flanked by US Marshalls as they started their journeys to distribute the vaccine across the US.

The shipments set in motion the biggest vaccination effort in American history at a critical juncture of the pandemic that has killed 1.6 million and sickened 71 million worldwide.

Plant workers rejoice as boxes containing the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are prepared to be shipped.
Plant workers rejoice as boxes containing the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are prepared to be shipped.

Federal officials say the first shipments of Pfizer’s vaccine will be staggered, arriving in 145 distribution centers Monday, which is when New York is expected to get its first doses.

An additional 425 sites will get shipments Tuesday, and the remaining 66 on Wednesday. The vaccine, co-developed by German partner BioNTech, is being doled out based on each state’s adult population.

Pfizer’s vaccine was first to get emergency use approval under Trump Administration’s Operation Warp Speed, with others still in the pipeline.

With Post wires

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