Covid vaccine deliveries had been delayed within the storm till mid-week: White Home advisers
Boxes containing the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are being prepared for shipment on December 13, 2020 at the Pfizer Global Supply Kalamazoo manufacturing facility in Portage, Michigan.
Morry Gash | Getty Images
All deliveries of Covid-19 vaccine doses delayed by the historic winter storm last week are expected to be delivered mid-week, Andy Slavitt, Senior White House Advisor for Covid-19 Response, said Monday.
Slavitt said Friday that shipments of about 6 million cans, equivalent to shipments worth about three days, were delayed by the storm.
“I reported on Friday that we would make up for the deliveries by the end of this week,” said Slavitt on Monday at the Covid-19 White House press conference. “We now assume that any remaining cans will be delivered by the middle of the week.”
He added that the federal government plans to ditch about 7 million vaccine doses on Monday, a combination of shots left behind from last week and some that should run out this week. He said the government’s ability to catch up quickly on the storm was thanks to members of the military and McKesson staff who the government hired to assist with distribution and logistics in getting the vaccine up and running.
“Seventy McKesson employees volunteered to work Saturday night and Sunday morning at 1am to prepare shipments for an 11am transit deadline,” he said, adding that UPS employees are also flexible on delayed deliveries could react.
Slavitt added that although the White House expected to catch up on the doses dispensed quickly, “it will take some time” for vaccination centers to catch up on vaccinations.
“We encourage vaccination centers to follow the same example of those who work longer hours to catch up on supplies by allowing more appointments to vaccinate the anxious public as soon as possible,” he said. Slavitt added that vaccination centers are still closed in some parts of the country that were particularly hard hit by the storm.
The pace of vaccination in Texas, rocked by the storm that left millions in the state without electricity, suffered badly. Slavitt said the 7-day average of daily doses had dropped 31% over the past week.