Residents cheer on historic shipment of COVID vaccine from outside Michigan Pfizer plant

Process requires, federal waivers, dry ice, air priority and more

Residents cheer on historic shipment of COVID vaccine from outside Michigan Pfizer plant
Residents cheer on historic shipment of COVID vaccine from outside Michigan Pfizer plant

PORTAGE, Mich.The eyes of the nation are on Portage, a city on Michigan’s west side in Kalamazoo County, just west of Battle Creek.

The monumental effort to create a COVID-19 vaccine came together Sunday as the first batches were shipped nationwide. It is the biggest vaccination effort in American history.

“What was exciting is that it puts us on the map,” said Marcia Miller. “That’s exciting in itself,”

Miller and her room mate were just among a group of spectators watching on, proud of their small town and the millions it will soon help across America.

“I was so excited I couldn’t stand it,” Miller said. “Watching all this, I said we have got to go see this actually happen as it leaves the plant.”

Workers on both the inside and outside are happy about accomplishment of the Phizer manufacturing site. From Portage, the doses of the vaccine will be kept in temperature safe packages and transported with GPS trackers and U.S. Marshals escorts.

RELATED: What it takes to safely transport Pfizer’s COVID vaccine to hospitals

The vaccine will be shipped to those on the front lines of the health care industry and nursing home patients.

How long will it take until the vaccine makes a difference?

“My hope is that this happens very expeditiously,” said Dr. Stephen Hahn, with the FDA.

The first batch of nearly 3 million vaccines are expected to be shipped to all 50 states Monday with more shipments coming Tuesday and Wednesday.



About the Authors:

Victor Williams joined Local 4 News in October of 2019 after working for WOIO in Cleveland, OH, WLOX News in Biloxi, MS, and WBBJ in Jackson, TN. Victor developed a love for journalism after realizing he was a great speaker and writer at an early age.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.