(CNN)The first batch of coronavirus vaccines was loaded onto trucks at a Pfizer plant in Portage, Michigan, and shipped out across the country on Sunday morning, a landmark moment in the fight against the deadly virus.
Freight trucks carrying about 184,275 vials of vaccine departed the plant, and the combined 189 boxes of vaccine vials are expected to arrive in all 50 states on Monday.
Another 3,900 vials are expected to ship later Sunday to United States territories, and 400 boxes packed with about 390,000 vials will ship Monday to arrive on Tuesday. There are five doses of vaccine per vial, according to Pfizer.
The excitement surrounding the shipment even brought out small groups of cheering spectators. At Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where the vaccine was loaded onto a FedEx cargo plane, Vicki Royce and her husband gathered outside the facility in celebration.”
This is so exciting — this is history!” Royce told CNN. “The first vaccines are going out. I’m like crying here.”
Boxes containing the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine are prepared for shipping at the Pfizer Global Supply Kalamazoo manufacturing plant on December 13, 2020 in Michigan.
From its origin in Michigan, the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine will arrive to about 600 sites across the US in the coming days.
“It’s a very good day for America, and for the world,” Moncef Slaoui, head of the US’s coronavirus vaccine efforts, told Fox News on Sunday.
The US Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization to the vaccine on Friday, and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted on Saturday to recommend it for people age 16 and older in the US.
CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield must accept the ACIP recommendation before vaccinations can begin.