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COVID In Philadelphia: Philadelphia International Airport One Of Roughly 30 Airports To Welcome Shipments Of Coronavirus Vaccines

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The much-anticipated coronavirus vaccination deliveries are potentially the most-watched shipments in history. The contents are seen as the light at the end of the tunnel of the common day pandemic.

Eyewitness News is continually monitoring word on the vaccine's arrival in the Philadelphia region.

All eyes are on UPS, as its planes traversed the country Sunday carrying boxes of vaccines that are the great hope to turning the tide against COVID-19. Philadelphia International is one of roughly 30 airports to welcome the precious cargo.

"This is really a pivotal and historic moment in the fight against COVID-19," said Florence Brown, director of communications for PHL Airport. "PHL is just really excited to play a very small role in that and to support those operations."

The planes will use PHL runways and then go on to UPS' Air Hub just off airport property in Tinicum Township, where workers will unload the vaccines for distribution.

"The FAA has actually approved something called priority clearance, and what that means is that they are going to make sure that the aircraft carrying the vaccine are able to land as quickly as possible, regardless of what's happening in the air at that time," Brown said.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy appeared on ABC's "This Week" Sunday to talk about the Garden State's plan to administer the 76,000 initial Pfizer vaccine doses it was allotted. Murphy said the first New Jersey residents to be vaccinated will be healthcare workers at University Hospital in Newark on Tuesday morning.

"We're going to be putting shots in the arm, Tuesday morning in Newark. This is coming," Murphy said.

The governor also said the vaccine's rollout is reason for celebration, but not for being lax about taking precautions.

"For all of the good news, the light at the end of the tunnel, and the vaccine exemplifies that as much as anything, the next number of weeks are going to be hell," Murphy said. "So we're begging people to please, please, please, don't let your guard down."

Sunday's shipment will be the first of several expected vaccine shipments coming into PHL this week.

Brown said the snow forecasted for Wednesday into Thursday should not pose an issue.

CBS3's Trang Do and Howard Monroe contributed to this report.


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