Portage, Michigan ‘proud’ to help roll out Pfizer COVID vaccine

‘Yes, people have to work around the clock’

Small Michigan town working to make COVID-19 vaccine

PORTAGE, Mich. – There’s a small town in Michigan working day and night to make a vaccine for coronavirus (COVID-19).

In Europe, trucks were rolling out of a Pfizer plant in Belgium headed to the U.K. where the first doses of the vaccine were given.

There’s a Pfizer plant similar to that one in the town of Portage, Michigan. It’s getting ready to do the same thing. Portage Mayor Patricia M. Randall said Pfizer is the city’s largest employer.

“We are proud,” Randall said.

The 1,300-acre site is Pfizer’s largest manufacturing facility, named global supply, which is fitting right now. The vaccine is expected to travel from Michigan to countries all over the globe.

Whan Koh has friends working on the vaccine, something that would normally take years.

“Can you imagine? It would normally take years? Now, you’re talking about just a few months,” Koh said. “Yes, people have to work around the clock.”

Businesses in the area are helping too. Mazen Ahmad owns the Bab El Salam restaurant. They are offering free meals to any Pfizer employee.

Arun Tandon owns Advanced Health Pharmacy. It was one of the first to offer COVID-19 testing in the city. Tandon said it’s the people in town that build community spirit. The same people who are working around the clock.

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About the Authors:

Nick joined the Local 4 team in February of 2015. Prior to that he spent 6 years in Sacramento covering a long list of big stories including wildfires and earthquakes. Raised in Sterling Heights, he is no stranger to the deep history and pride Detroit has to offer.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.