By Zack Budryk / www.thehill.com / December 14th, 2020
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FedEx and UPS touted their first deliveries of Pfizer and BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine Monday morning following its final approval over the weekend.
“We are one of the few companies with the global network and capabilities to keep critical supply chains moving during this unprecedented time,” FedEx Express President and CEO Don Colleran said in a statement. “Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, FedEx has delivered more than 55 kilotons of personal protective equipment, including more than two billion face masks, and more than 9,600 humanitarian aid shipments around the globe.”
UPS also celebrated their first shipments of the vaccine.
“It was a whirlwind of a day that was months in the making,” the company tweeted.
“To our partners in the healthcare, logistics and government sectors, and to the @UPSers who made today's #vaccine logistics possible...thank you!” it added.
The first shipments of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccines left the pharmaceutical company’s facility in Portage, Mich., early Sunday.
Roughly 184,275 vials of the vaccine were shipped, according to CNN, which added that the company plans to send out 390,000 more vials on Monday.
Ahead of approval, Transportation Department officials said in early December that infrastructure was in place for immediate mass shipment of the vaccine, including dry ice to pack the drug in. Health care workers are set to be the first to receive the vaccine.
The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also approved an advisory panel's recommendation on Sunday, clearing the way for the first doses to be administered as early as Monday.
“The department has laid the groundwork for the safe transportation of the COVID-19 vaccine and is proud to support this historic endeavor,” Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said in a statement.
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