WASHINGTON — The severe winter storms that have devastated Texas and surrounding states have delayed the distribution of 6 million Covid-19 vaccine doses, but Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday that it’s only a “temporary setback” that will be fixed by the middle of this week.
“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, the head of the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in an interview with “Meet the Press.”
“The number was 6 million doses got delayed. We’ve gotten two million out, and we project that by the middle of the week, we will have caught up.”
The brutal weather left millions without power as temperatures plummeted. And even as power is returning, broken pipes mean that many still lack clean water. President Joe Biden declared a major disaster for 77 counties across the state, allowing those areas to be eligible for federal recovery funds, and some emergency management officials are calling for the entire state to be included in the disaster declaration.
The rough weather prompted what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called “widespread delays in Covid-19 vaccine shipments and deliveries.” Power failures also forced some health care officials to quickly administer vaccine doses before they spoiled.
More than 57 million doses of vaccine have been administered — with 41 million first doses administered and 16 million people fully vaccinated with the two-dose regiment — according to an NBC News analysis.
The average daily number of Covid-19 cases continues to plummet from a post-holiday peak. The U.S. has reported more than 100,000 new, daily cases on only one of the last 14 days, a month after regularly hitting more than 200,000 new cases, according to NBC News data. Daily deaths are decreasing too, but at a slower rate, still regularly eclipsing 2,000.