US Storms Delay Shipping Of 6Mln COVID Vaccine Doses - White House

US Storms Delay Shipping of 6Mln COVID Vaccine Doses - White House

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 19th February, 2021) The United States is experiencing a backlog of six million COVID-19 vaccines after severe storms delayed delivery, although nearly a quarter of those doses should reach their destination by next week, White House coronavirus response adviser Andy Slavitt said on Friday.

"The six million doses represent about three days of delayed shipping," Slavitt told a media briefing. "But 1.4 million doses are already in transit. We anticipate all the backlogged doses will be delivered next week, with most being delivered within the next several days. We will be able to catch up."

After an unseasonably warm start to the 2020/21 winter, a hail of snow storms have descended upon the central and eastern United States in recent weeks, affecting power, heat and water supplies, as well as travel and other logistics.

Earlier this week, some four million homes in Texas were without electricity, and production of oil and gas at key basins in the state, known as the energy capital of the world, was halted. Road closures also held up travel and deliveries in various other states.

Slavitt said 2,000 vaccine sites, located in sites with power outages, could not receive doses this week.

Officials were also reluctant to ship to those locations until their power problems were resolved, for fear that further delays in transit and complications on arrival could cause the doses to expire.

Rochelle Walensky, a director at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), told the media briefing that the United States has vaccinated 41 million Americans since December 14, and save for a few people who experienced common after-effects, there has been no reason for concern.

"I want to emphasize that we implemented the most comprehensive vaccine safety monitoring system program in our history and the data released from the CDC today are reflective of this effort," she added.

Since the global outbreak of COVID-19 last year, the United States has been the country worst hit by the virus, with nearly 28 million infections and almost 500,000 deaths from those. Yet, latest CDC statistics show a steady recovery. According to the agency, the seven-day average for new cases has declined by 69 percent from a January 11 peak.