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Federal officials gave an update Monday morning on the progress of shipments of Pfizer’s and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine, saying that 145 shipments would be delivered by 2:00 PM local time around the United States.
Gen. Gustave Perna, the chief operating officer of the federal government’s Operation Warp Speed program, said personnel had worked all weekend to get the vaccine packed and shipped from Pfizer’s manufacturing site in Kalamazoo, Michigan, to states’ designated receiving sites in order that vaccinations may begin Monday.
“It went incredibly well,” Perna told reporters during a press briefing.
As of 1:00 PM on Monday, 55 shipments had been received. The remaining 95 were due to be delivered by 2:00 PM local time, Perna said.
Shipments will continue each day. It is planned that a total of 636 shipments will be delivered through Wednesday. “The shipments for tomorrow’s deliveries have already been packed and checked,” he said.
Another 581 shipments will go to states starting on Thursday and continuing through the weekend, Perna said.
By Sunday, the federal government expects to have delivered a total of 2.9 million doses of the vaccine to the states, Washington, DC, and US territories. Operation Warp Speed is holding an additional 2.9 million doses for the booster that’s due to be given 21 days later to the initial recipients, and it’s keeping 500,000 doses in reserve for contingencies.
Each state and territory has devised a plan of prioritization that is based on recommendations that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) issued on December 1.