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White House: Weather-delayed COVID-19 vaccine shipments will be delivered by midweek

White House: Weather-delayed COVID-19 vaccine shipments will be delivered by midweek
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All the coronavirus vaccine doses that were delayed because of severe winter weather will be delivered by midweek, the White House said Monday.

Andy Slavitt, White House senior adviser for the coronavirus response, said the federal government plans to deliver about 7 million doses, a combination of shots that were backlogged from last week and some that were scheduled to go out this week.

Slavitt said last week that the weather had caused delays affecting all 50 states at multiple points along the supply chain. 

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Workers for distributors FedEx, UPS and McKesson had been snowed in and unable to get to work, and road closures also hindered distribution at multiple points.

Slavitt credited members of the military and McKesson for working around the clock once the weather cleared.

But it will take time for vaccination sites to catch up, and in some areas of Texas, the state hit hardest by the storms, vaccination sites remain closed. 

Texas's seven-day average of administered COVID-19 doses decreased 31 percent in the past week, Slavitt said.

"We encourage vaccination sites to follow that same lead of those who are working extended hours to catch up on deliveries by scheduling more appointments to vaccinate the anxious public as quickly as possible," he said.

Despite the weather-related slowdown in vaccinations, administration officials said overall pandemic numbers are encouraging.

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New cases, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle WalenskyRochelle WalenskyThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - Increased security on Capitol Hill amid QAnon's March 4 date Experts warn US risks delaying 'normal' summer Retailers fear a return of the mask wars MORE, have declined steadily for five weeks.

The current seven-day average is down 74 percent from its peak on Jan. 11.

The seven-day average is now at 66,000 cases per day and is comparable to last summer, though cases remain "significantly elevated," Walensky said. 

She added that the decline is "counterbalanced by the stark reality" that the U.S. has surpassed 500,000 COVID-19 deaths, "a truly tragic reminder of the enormity of this pandemic and the loss it has afflicted on our personal lives and our communities."