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Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine arrives at UPS Worldport

With the vaccine now approved by the FDA, the first shipment from Pfizer will be moved from the Worldport in Louisville to select locations in the US.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The first shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer arrived in Louisville on Sunday.

A plane flew out from Louisville Muhammad Ali International to pick up the vaccine and returned later in the afternoon with the vaccine. 

The US gave the final go-ahead Friday to the vaccine, marking what could be the beginning of the end for the pandemic.

The first trucks carrying a COVID-19 vaccine for widespread use in the United States pulled out of a Michigan manufacturing plant Sunday.

UPS will move the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine within the first days to states designated by Pfizer based on orders received by Operation Warp Speed and CDC officials, the release says. 

The vaccines will then be expedited by Next Day Air to select locations, including hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities in the US.

"The preparation for this has been intense," said UPS Public Relations Manager, Jim Mayer. "We have been at this for months, planning, putting the right people, the right technology in place, at this point UPS is 100% ready to go."

UPS Worldport facilities launched a new team to monitor any possible issues that could arise while the vaccines are in movement. Each box will hold a GPS enabled thermal sensor to show the location and temperature, and officials say they are ready to intervene with any shipment at any time.

Thursday, the Worldport received a shipment of kits necessary to administer the vaccine. 

“This is undoubtedly a historic feat not only for vaccine development but also expedient deployment,” said Mike McDermott, President, Pfizer Global Supply in the release. “We know that agile, world-class logistics is critical to get our products where they are needed, and we’re happy to partner with UPS in this historic effort to save lives and create healthier communities right now and well into the future.”

University of Louisville Health's Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jason Smith said, the hospital is expected to receive a shipment containing 975 doses of the vaccine. 

UofL Health will administer the vaccine to high-risk medical care employees who volunteer. 

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