First Coronavirus Vaccines Head to States, Starting Historic Effort

First Coronavirus Vaccines Head to States, Starting Historic Effort

Distributing supplies is a daunting logistical challenge, involving sophisticated tracking equipment, military contingencies and tight security.

At Novant Health in Winston-Salem, N.C., the new ultracold freezers are ready — enough to eventually house more than 500,000 doses of the first coronavirus vaccine approved in the United States.

In Los Angeles, the Cedars-Sinai medical center has installed extra security cameras to protect the secret location of its soon-to-arrive supply of the vaccine.

In Jackson, Miss., the state’s top two health officials are preparing to roll up their own sleeves in the coming days and be the first to get the shots there as cameras roll, hoping to send the message, “We trust it.”

The Food and Drug Administration’s emergency authorization on Friday night of the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech has set in motion the most ambitious vaccination campaign in the nation’s history, a challenge of staggering proportions choreographed against a backdrop of soaring infection rates and deaths. This weekend, 2.9 million doses of the vaccine are to begin traveling by plane and guarded truck from Pfizer facilities in Michigan and Wisconsin to designated locations, mostly hospitals, in all 50 states.