FedEx has started receiving doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine against COVID-19, The Commercial Appeal newspaper reports.
"The process for moving vaccines into our network has begun," FedEx representative Bonny Harrison said in a message to The Commercial Appeal on Saturday morning. "I think you probably just heard General Perna confirm rollout begins Sunday," he added.
Gen. Gustave Perna, a leading official in the United States' Operation Warp Speed vaccine distribution initiative, said on Saturday that US states could expect to receive their first shipments of the vaccine against COVID-19 produced by Pfizer and BioNTech on Monday.
"I expect the first shipments to arrive Monday morning. Extensive coordination will ensure that this occurs. We've worked with Pfizer, McKesson, UPS [United Parcel Service], FedEx, federal and local law enforcement agencies to ensure safety and security of the vaccine. Make no mistake, distribution has begun," Perna said at a press conference.
According to The Commercial Appeal, Pfizer is shipping its COVID-19 vaccine directly through FedEx, while McKesson will work with FedEx to ship other vaccines. A UPS spokesperson told the newspaper that FedEx and UPS were splitting duties, with UPS focusing on deliveries to the eastern half of the US, and FedEx covering western deliveries.
Perna said on Saturday that 145 locations in all US states could expect to receive shipments on Monday. He added that 425 more sites would receive vaccine doses on Tuesday, before the final 66 locations get their shipments on Wednesday.
On Friday, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave emergency use approval to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine against COVID-19. Speaking during a televised address, US President Donald Trump said that the vaccine will save "millions of lives."