Boxes containing the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are prepared to be shipped at the Pfizer Global Supply Kalamazoo manufacturing plant on December 13, 2020 in Portage, Michigan.
Morry Gash | Getty Images
All of the shipments of Covid-19 vaccine doses that were delayed last week by the historic winter storm are expected to be delivered by mid-week, White House senior advisor for Covid-19 response Andy Slavitt said Monday.
Slavitt said on Friday that the delivery of about 6 million doses, representing about three days’ worth of shipments, was delayed by the storm.
“I reported on Friday that we would catch up on deliveries by the end of this week,” Slavitt said Monday at the White House Covid-19 press briefing. “We now anticipate that all backlogged doses will be delivered by midweek.”
He added that on Monday the federal government plans to deliver about 7 million doses of vaccine, a combination of shots that were backlogged from last week and some that were scheduled to go out this week. He said the government’s ability to quickly catch up from the storm is thanks to members of the military and employees of McKesson, which the government has contracted to help run distribution and logistics in the vaccine rollout.
“Seventy McKesson employees volunteered to work 1 a.m. shifts Saturday night, Sunday morning to prepare shipments to meet an 11 a.m. transit deadline,” he said, adding that UPS employees were also flexible to accommodate backlogged deliveries.
Slavitt added that even though the White House anticipated quickly catching up on delivering delayed doses, “it will take time” for vaccination sites to catch up.
“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. Slavitt added that vaccination sites in some parts of the country that were hit particularly hard by the storm are still closed.
The pace of vaccinations in Texas, which was rocked by the storm that left millions in the state without electricity, severely suffered. Slavitt said the seven-day average of daily administered doses dropped by 31% over the past week.