WASHINGTON – The delivery of six million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine was delayed this week in the United States due to the snowstorm and cold that hit several parts of the country, the White House reported Friday.
“We have a delay of about six million doses due to weather. The 50 states (of the country) have been affected, the six million doses represent about three days of delay in distribution. In many states they have been able to cover it with existing inventory” said one of the federal government’s advisers on the pandemic, Andy Slavitt, at the White House daily press conference on COVID-19.
Slavitt explained that there are three points in the supply chain that have been impacted by weather conditions.
“First, FedEx, UPS and McKesson, our logistics and distribution teams have suffered challenges, their workers have not been able to go to work in the snow to pack and ship the required vaccines, equipment and diluent,” said Slavitt.
Added to this is that road closures due to the storm have prevented vaccines from being distributed from “manufacturing sites to distribution and transportation points.”
“Third, more than 2,000 vaccination points are in areas with power outages, so they cannot currently receive doses,” Slavitt added.
Few Americans have received the COVID-19 vaccine in the country yet. It is considered that the fears and myths that exist around the dose could be an important factor in the rejection of the vaccine.
Therefore, they have decided not to send the serum to those points, although Slavitt did not rule out that “they may expire.”
“The vaccines are safe in our factories and points (of transport), ready to be shipped as soon as the weather permits and the weather conditions improve,” the official stressed.
For now, Slavitt indicated that this Friday there were 1.4 million doses on the way and that on Saturday there will be more, and predicted that the country will be able to recover from this delay in the coming days.
The United States has given authorization for emergency use to two vaccines against COVID-19, that of Pfizer and that of Moderna, which need to be stored at a very low temperature, so that a power cut can be fatal when it comes to keep them.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday, some 41 million people have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in the US, 16.2 million of them. which the second has been administered to them.
The US is the country most affected by the pandemic in the world, with almost 28 million cases and more than 493,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.