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Southwest Michigan city at center of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine production in US

The small city of Portage is playing a big role in getting out Pfizer’s new COVID-19 vaccine.

Pfizer is manufacturing the vaccine at its 1,300 acre factory site in Portage, and distributing throughout the U.S.

Patricia Randall is mayor of Portage. She says everyone in town knows someone who works at the plant

“They have offered hope to the world,” Randall says. “I mean we have been unified in the world with suffering. And this has gone on for nine months. And it’s definitely a miracle. It’s a gift that we’ve all been waiting for.”

"They have offered hope to the world," says Portage mayor Patricia Randall, of Pfizer's plant workers.

She says Pfizer is the largest taxpayer in the city, with thousands of employees. But that workforce gets support from others in town.

“It starts with one company, but the fabric is spread throughout our entire region – the support that is going into this behind the scenes,” she says.

Pfizer says it expects to produce up to 50 million doses of the vaccine worldwide by the end of the year.

Dustin Dwyer reports enterprise and long-form stories from Michigan Public’s West Michigan bureau. He was a fellow in the class of 2018 at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. He’s been with Michigan Public since 2004, when he started as an intern in the newsroom.
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