Extreme winter weather has dealt the first major setback to the Biden administration’s planned swift rollout of coronavirus vaccines, delaying shipment of three days worth of shots, or about 6 million doses.
The disruptions caused by frigid temperatures, snow and ice left the White House scrambling to work with states to make up lost ground even as President Joe Biden was set to visit a Pfizer vaccine manufacturing plant near Kalamazoo, Michigan. The president’s trip itself had been pushed back a day to Friday due to wintry weather in the nation’s capital.
White House coronavirus response adviser Andy Slavitt said Friday that the federal government, states and local vaccinators are going to have to redouble efforts to catch up. The setback from sprawling winter storms comes just as the vaccination campaign seemed to be on the verge of hitting its stride. All the backlogged doses should be delivered in the next several days, Slavitt said, still confident that the pace of vaccinations will recover.