In the last week, Pfizer has shipped more than 2.9 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine to locales throughout the US in an effort to get health care workers vaccinated amid a surge of cases nationwide.
With Pfizer declaring the initial round of distribution a success, the company says it is awaiting instructions on where to ship its next batch of vaccines.
“We have millions more doses sitting in our warehouse but, as of now, we have not received any shipment instructions for additional doses,” Pfizer said in a statement.
Pfizer’s vaccine comes in two doses, which means those who have been vaccinated this week will be asked to return in three weeks to receive a booster. Distributing the vaccine is made more arduous due to the extremely cold temperatures required to store the vaccines.
Pfizer has been working with UPS and FedEx on distributing vaccines from its warehouses.
Pfizer has said that it plans on distributing up to 50 million vaccines doses globally by the end of the year.
“Over the last several months, we have activated Pfizer’s extensive manufacturing network, including thousands of highly skilled workers in multiple locations. As a result, Pfizer is manufacturing and readying for release millions of doses each day, and that volume will grow over the coming weeks,” Pfizer said.
As health care workers get vaccinated, the shots are slated to make their way to those living and working in assisted living facilities. Major pharmacy chains, such as CVS and Walgreens, are slated to help administer the vaccines to those in assisted living facilities.
“With approximately 70 percent of the U.S. population living within three miles of a CVS Pharmacy, we’ll be easy to reach when a vaccine is authorized by the FDA and becomes available in retail settings,” Dr. Troyen Brennan, Chief Medical Officer, CVS Health, said last month. "Our pharmacists, nurse practitioners and pharmacy technicians have been an invaluable community resource since the pandemic began and are ready to play a critical role in the vaccination effort.”
Joining the Pfizer vaccine is a similar shot by Moderna, which is in the process of receiving an emergency use authorization from the FDA. The FDA is expected to authorize the vaccine this weekend.