Bad weather causing delays in Covid-19 vaccine shipments and deliveries, White House says

The extreme weather in parts of the country, including a hard-hit Texas, is causing delays in Covid-19 vaccine shipments and deliveries, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday. The White House is working to move up scheduled deliveries, surge shipment operations and potentially extend hours at vaccination sites, she said.

“CDC and federal partners are working closely with the jurisdictions, as well as manufacturing and shipping partners, to assess weather conditions, and to help mitigate potential delivery delays and cancellations,” Psaki said at a White House briefing.
Psaki said the White House Covid-19 response team is in constant communication with local officials, and that the White House is having many one-on-one calls, emails and meetings with states, tribes, territories and key partners about the impact of the storm on vaccination efforts.
“We’re also working with our partners to move up scheduled deliveries whenever possible, and to surge shipment operations through the end of the week into the weekend. We’re in conversation about extended hours and additional appointments to try and reschedule shots given the storm,” Psaki said.
    Psaki said the goal is to make sure access to vaccines remains as “stable and equitable” as possible.
      Widespread power outages in Texas have caused serious, cascading issues with the state’s supply of heating, water, food and medicine. Power was down for about 500,000 Texas customers as of Thursday morning — way down from the over 3 million outages a day earlier, according to Poweroutage.us. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which operates the state’s power grid, said in a statement Thursday morning it had made “significant progress” restoring power overnight.
      But the winter storm and ongoing cold were still affecting the system’s power generation, and rotating outages may be needed over the next couple of days, the company said.

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