Michigan counties prepare for first doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine to arrive

Posted at 6:12 AM, Dec 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-14 06:12:23-05

Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccines from West Michigan are en route to hospitals and health departments around the country.

Related: WATCH: Trucks carrying first COVID-19 vaccine in US leave from Michigan plant

Michigan will be getting nearly 85,000 doses of the coronavirus vaccine in the first shipment, and Macomb County expects to receive 1,000 doses this week.

The rolling out of the first COVID-19 vaccine is the moment we've been waiting for since March.

Wayne County Health Department officials will have a meeting Monday to discuss how and when the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will be stored and distributed.

Related: MDHHS releases list of priority groups for COVID-19 vaccine administration

On Sunday morning, the eyes of the country were on Portage, Michigan, as the first does of U.S. vaccines were packed and shipped out from Pfizer's facility.

Wayne county health dept officials will have a meeting today to discuss how and when the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will be stored and distributed.

And the entire world has now heard about Portage, the small city providing hope that the end of the pandemic is near.

"We just got this great feeling of pride, like our community contributed to the solution," Ethan Alexander from neighboring Kalamazoo said.

Portage is the home of Pfizer's largest manufacturing site and is the epicenter of vaccine distribution.

The first shipments are now on trucks and planes: 2.9 million doses on the way to 636 locations around the country.

Once it is taken out of shipping containers, the vaccine needs to be moved within 90 seconds to special freezers or put into a standard refrigerator to thaw, where it can stay for up to five days.

Out of the refrigerator, a vial is quickly diluted into five doses that must be injected within two hours or it spoils.

Healthcare workers, nursing home residents, and staff will be among the first to get the vaccine.