The US has a “backlog” of six million coronavirus vaccine doses due to the massive winter storms that hit the Midwest and Texas, the Biden government said on Friday.
Andy Slavitt, the White House’s senior advisor on the COVID-19 response, said during a press conference that the jam is three days worth of broadcasts that should be broadcast to each and every US state.
Meanwhile, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is working to open more mass vaccination centers across the country.
Slavitt announced at the press conference that five more mass vaccination sites will be opening, four in Florida and the fifth in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
It is estimated that 57.7 million Americans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as vaccination efforts continue to grow.
Currently, 41 million people in the United States – or 12.5 percent of the population – have received a starting dose, and 16.1 million – 4.9 percent – are fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
On average, between 1.6 and 1.7 million people are vaccinated each day, and President Joe Biden is expected to hit his goal of 100 million gun shots in his first 100 days in office.
Of the doses administered, approximately 29.5 million puffs were Pfizer BioNTech and 28 million puffs were from Moderna.
On Friday, President Joe Biden traveled to Michigan on Friday to tour a Pfizer vaccine factory near Kalamazoo while winter weather delayed COVID-19 vaccines. along with Michigan Gov Gretchen Whitmer, Coronavirus Task Force Director Jeffrey Zients, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, and Plant Production Director Shawn Hamilton.
Andy Slavitt (center), the White House senior advisor on the COVID-19 response, said during a briefing at the White House Friday that the US is “backlog” of six million coronavirus vaccine doses
Slavitt said the jam was worth three days for shipments destined to be sent to each individual state. However, due to the winter storms in the Midwest and Texas, this could not be done as between 1.6 and 1.7 million people continue to be vaccinated daily
Currently, 41 million people in the United States – or 12.5% of the population – have received a starting dose, and 16.1 million – 4.9% of the population – are fully vaccinated
President Joe Biden (left), Jeffrey Zients (center left), Michigan Governor, Gretchen Whitmer (center right) and Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla (right) tour the Pfizer vaccine facility in Kalamazoo, Michigan on Friday
On Friday, Slavitt said the storms delayed vaccine deliveries in all 50 states due to the historic winter storms that erupted across the country.
“Many states were able to cover some of this delay with existing inventory,” said Slavitt.
Slavitt went on to say that delivery centers at UPS, FedEx and McKesson, which ship the cans to states, have reported staff shortages.
He said the workers are currently snowed in and cannot come to work to pack the vaccines and the kits and supplies they need.
Additionally, due to road closures, trucks have not been able to bring vaccines from shipping centers to vaccination sites.
Additionally, more than 2,000 vaccine outlets couldn’t get doses because they don’t need electricity to store the ultra-cold shots, Slavitt said.
Because of the cold chain required to hold the Pfizer vaccine, as well as Moderna, it makes more sense to hold the doses than to risk them expiring, according to Slavitt.
According to Slavitt, the vaccines are currently “sitting safely and healthily in our factories and hubs ready for dispatch” as soon as possible.
“As weather conditions improve, we are already trying to clear this backlog,” he said, noting that 1.4 million cans will be shipped on Friday.
‘All residue cans will be delivered in the next week. We assume we can handle this backlog and the new production going online next week. ‘
Florida has partnered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to open four new mass vaccination sites that can vaccinate up to 12,000 people daily, including the Tampa Greyhound Track in Tampa (pictured)
Gov Ron DeSantis initially described the use of FEMA to build vaccination clinics in the US as a “big mistake” but changed his mind after realizing that FEMA would bring additional doses into the state. Pictured: A FEMA official watches workers set up the new mass vaccination center at Oakland Coliseum, California on Feb.12
On Wednesday, FEMA announced that it is partnering with Florida and Pennsylvania to open five mass vaccination centers.
Four of the locations are in Florida: on the Tampa Greyhound Track in Tampa; Valencia College in Orlando, Gateway Mall in Jacksonville; and the North Campus of Miami Dade College in Miami.
The sites are open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and can vaccinate up to 12,000 people daily.
Each site will have two smaller mobile satellite sites with the goal of delivering 500 vaccines per day in underserved communities.
Gov Ron DeSantis initially described FEMA’s commitment to building vaccination clinics in the USA – including Florida – as a “big mistake”.
However, he noted that he has since changed his mind because FEMA would bring additional doses of vaccine into the state.
A fifth location in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania Convention Center (pictured) with the ability to vaccinate 6,000 people per day is chosen as the location because of its size and proximity to major transit lines
FEMA is also opening a mass vaccination facility in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
The doses will come direct from the federal government and the website is staffed by FEMA, CDC, and the US Department of Health.
Officials said the convention center can vaccinate 6,000 people a day and was chosen as the location because of its size and proximity to major transit lines.
“We believe the convention center can handle the huge volume … a Type 1 site is supposed to have 6,000 people a day, which is quite a lot,” said Dr. Philadelphia Health Commissioner Thomas Farley during a news conference on Friday.
“But it is a very large convention center and offers excellent transport links for both car drivers and public transport.”
It comes a week after FEMA announced it would work with Texas to build three new mass vaccination centers.
Similarly, in New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the state is working with the federal government open mass vaccination stations in “socially endangered communities”.