Covid vaccine shipments delayed by storm to arrive midweek: White House adviser

Boxes containing Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are ready to be shipped to Pfizer Global Supply Kalamazoo’s manufacturing facility on December 13, 2020 in Portage, Michigan.

Morry Gash | fake images

All Covid-19 vaccine dose shipments that were delayed last week by the historic winter storm are expected to be delivered by midweek, the White House’s senior adviser for the Covid-19 response said Monday. , Andy Slavitt.

Slavitt said on Friday that the delivery of about 6 million doses, representing about three days of shipments, was delayed by the storm.

“I reported on Friday that we would catch up with deliveries by the end of this week,” Slavitt said Monday at the White House Covid-19 press conference. “We now anticipate that all overdue doses will be delivered midweek.”

He added that on Monday the federal government plans to deliver about 7 million doses of the vaccine, a combination of injections that were overdue from last week and some that were scheduled to come out this week. He said the government’s ability to recover quickly from the storm is due to members of the military and McKesson employees, who the government has hired to help run distribution and logistics in launching the vaccine.

“Seventy McKesson employees volunteered to work 1 am shifts Saturday night and Sunday morning to prepare shipments to meet the 11 am transit deadline,” he said, adding that UPS employees were also flexible to accommodate late deliveries.

Slavitt added that, while the White House anticipated getting up to speed quickly with the delivery of the doses, “it will take time” for vaccination sites to catch up on vaccines.

“We encourage vaccination sites to follow the same lead as those who work extended hours to catch up on deliveries by scheduling more appointments to vaccinate the anxious public as quickly as possible,” he said. Slavitt added that vaccination sites in some parts of the country that were particularly hit by the storm are still closed.

The pace of vaccinations in Texas, which was rocked by the storm that left millions of people in the state without power, suffered severely. Slavitt said the seven-day average of daily doses administered dropped 31% over the past week.


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