On Friday, the United States granted an emergency use authorization for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
With the authorization, the vaccine will ship via FedEx and UPS, with the two carriers splitting the country in half. In Michigan, it will be UPS rolling out of Pfizer’s Portage cold farm with 85,000 vials slated for the state.
“I’m very excited about the vaccine distribution. It means that the end of the pandemic is near and we are working diligently with partners across the state to distribute COVID vaccines,” said Dr. Joneigh Khladun, Michigan chief medical executive.
The vaccine will be distributed in Michigan in the following phases:
- Phase 1A includes paid and unpaid persons serving in health care settings who have direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials and are unable to work from home, as well as residents of long-term care facilities.
- Phase 1B includes some workers in essential and critical industries, including workers with unique skill sets such as non-hospital or non-public health laboratories and mortuary services.
- Phase 1C includes people at high risk for severe COVID-19 illness due to underlying medical conditions, and people 65 years and older.
- Phase 2 is a mass vaccination campaign for all adults.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer released a statement on the vaccine authorization:
“This is great news for our families, frontline workers, small businesses, and economy. In Michigan, a state built on hard work and innovation, a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine will be manufactured by Michigan workers at a Michigan business. I want to thank all of our dedicated Pfizer employees for their hard work. My administration, led by Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, is developing a plan to distribute the vaccine, with a focus on our most vulnerable populations. And today, I announced the bipartisan Protect Michigan Commission to help raise awareness of the safety and effectiveness of an approved COVID-19 vaccine, educate the people of this state, and help protect the health and safety of all Michigan residents. One of the most important things every adult should be doing now is planning for how they will get the vaccine when it becomes available to them. I want to remind everyone that we must not let our guard down. It will take time to widely distribute the vaccine, and we must all continue to do our part by wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, and washing our hands frequently.”