The winter storm sweeping across Texas and much of the U.S. has presented more difficulty with coronavirus vaccination efforts. Deliveries of the vaccine for the Southeast from two central distribution, hubs have slowed as a result of hazardous weather.
The U.S. government’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is projecting “widespread delays” in vaccine shipments in the next few days. They did not specify how many doses scheduled for delivery this week will be impacted.
- The Texas Department of State Health Services tweeted that it expects this week’s shipments to arrive Wednesday at the earliest, based upon local conditions.
- In Houston, the public health agency lost power and was forced to distribute thousands of shots before they expired.
- Missouri shuttered all large-scale vaccination sites through Friday.
- Some counties in Minnesota have had to cancel vaccinations, a Fox News affiliate reports.
- The grocery chain Publix stopped taking vaccine appointments in Florida, South Carolina, and Georgia because of shipping delays.
- The weather is expected to disrupt vaccine shipments from a FedEx facility in Tennessee and a UPS installation in Kentucky, which, the Biden administration said, both operate as shipping hubs for several states
Texas DSHS said in its Twitter post. “No one wants to put vaccine at risk by attempting to deliver it in dangerous conditions.”
In an effort to support the vaccine rollout, FEMA launched its first mass COVID-19 vaccination sites yesterday in Los Angeles and Oakland. These sites are part of the administration’s plan to distribute vaccines faster and to reach hard-hit communities more effectively
The Centers for Disease Control reports that the U.S. is currently administering 1.67 million COVID-19 vaccines per day. Approximately 38.3 million Americans — or about 12% of the U.S. population — have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
President Biden has stated an increase in vaccine availability will continue with everyone that wants the vaccine is able to get it by the end of July. Biden was originally shooting for 1 million vaccine distributions per day but increased that goal in January to 1.5 million per day. The administration expects a return to normalcy by Christmas.