The Houston Health Department said Thursday it would resume thousands of vaccinations Saturday.
Meanwhile, vaccine appointments across the country have been delayed. “More than 2,000 vaccine sites are located in areas with power outages so they are currently unable to receive dosages,” Slavitt said.
It’s not yet clear how many doses may have been spoiled due to power outages in Texas.
“We’re asking providers that aren’t able to store vaccines due to power outages to transfer it elsewhere or administer it so it doesn’t spoil. Fortunately, it seems they’ve been able to do that, and reports of vaccine spoiling have been minimal,” said Douglas Loveday, spokesman for the Texas Department of State Health Services. “I don’t have numbers at this point. We’ll likely know more down the road.”
Slavitt said he expected a reduction in seven-day vaccination volume this week due to the weather but told reporters they expect to make up for the decrease in vaccinations in the coming weeks.
“We are asking states, sites and vaccinators to help us catch up and to get Americans vaccinated. We know many Americans are awaiting their second dose and many more their first dose,” he said.
Other vaccine appointments could be at risk of cancellation if more doses are not received soon, some jurisdictions have reported.
Philadelphia has been able to transfer doses among sites to ensure appointments are not canceled, but that could change if more supply does not arrive soon.
“If delays continue for much longer, operations may be affected and some clinics may be forced to close until they are resupplied,” said James Garrow, spokesman for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky said Friday that more than 41 million people have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and stressed that monitoring has confirmed the safety of the vaccine.
The task force expects to make a series of announcements in the next eight to 10 days related to access to transportation, mobile access and apportionment reservations for underserved communities that face additional barriers.(c)2021 CQ Roll Call Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC