A powerful winter storm leaving Texas in the dark and millions without food or water is having an impact on the distribution of Coronavirus vaccines this week.
Over 6 million doses are now delayed due to hazardous conditions with many people scrambling to reschedule appointments or wait longer than expected, according to the White House Friday.
The delayed doses amount to a three-day supply, and this week’s winter storms have slowed the arrival of vaccines in all 50 states, according to Andy Slavitt, the White House senior adviser on the government’s Coronavirus response.
President Joe Biden acknowledged the weather was “slowing the distribution” Friday while speaking at a Pfizer plant in Kalamazoo, Mich. and also believes “we’ll be approaching normalcy by the end of this year.”
“God willing, this Christmas will be different than last, but I can’t make that commitment to you,” Biden said.
He also took a swipe at former President Donald Trump, whom he did not cite by name, but gave credit to the previous administration for overseeing the approval of two highly-effective vaccines. “It’s one thing to have a vaccine available, the problem was how to get to people’s arms.”
As the backlog of COVID-19 vaccines are fulfilled, a ripple effect could stretch until the end of the month as states await delayed shipments and scramble to get their vaccination efforts back to normal.
“We as an entire nation will have to pull together to get back on track,” Slavitt told reporters at the White House coronavirus briefing.
Slavitt said about 1.4 million doses were being shipped Friday. The U.S. had administered an average of 1.7 million doses per day prior to the slow down.