(CNN) — The Biden administration has partially caught up on its delayed vaccine shipments, having delivered about 2 million of the 6 million doses backlogged by the deadly winter storms in Texas and other states, administration officials said Sunday.
“We can’t control Mother Nature, no one can, but we can certainly contingency plan,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on ABC’s “This Week.”
“We’ve been able to get about 2 million of those 6 million doses out. We expect to rapidly catch up this week, fill that backlog, make sure they’re out to communities and also meet our deadlines and our timelines of the doses that are due to go out this upcoming week,” Psaki said.
Texas suffered a devastating week of below freezing temperatures and winter storms, with conditions worsened by widespread power outages across the state impacting millions of homes and businesses. And other parts of the country faced similar frigid temperatures, snow and ice, delaying deliveries and appointments for COVID-19 shots and complicating the Biden administration’s vaccine distribution.
On Friday, Andy Slavitt, senior adviser to the White House COVID-19 response team, had said at a White House briefing that there was a backlog of around 6 million COVID-19 vaccines due to winter weather and that all 50 states had been impacted.
And the White House had acknowledged last week that officials were working to move up scheduled deliveries, surge shipment operations and potentially extend hours at vaccination sites.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser and the nation’s top infectious disease expert, projected Sunday that the US will be caught up mid-week on the delays, calling it a “temporary setback.”
“Obviously, it is a setback because you’d like to see the steady flow of vaccine, getting out there to get into people’s arms, but we can play pretty good catch-up,” Fauci said in an interview Sunday on NBC.
“When you just, you know, put your foot to the accelerator and really push, we’ll get it up to where we need to be by the middle of the week,” he said.
Biden, during a visit to a Michigan vaccine manufacturing facility on Friday, said that he was “confident” the US would exceed his goal to administer 100 million shots in his first 100 days in office.
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