White Home pledges vaccination assist as states shortly atone for Oklahoma information
HOUSTON (AP) – A huge vaccination center opens in Houston, delivering 126,000 doses of coronavirus over the next three weeks. The Nevada health authorities are working overtime to distribute late admissions. And Rhode Island reschedules appointments after a vaccine shipment didn’t arrive as scheduled earlier this week.
From coast to coast, states scrambled to catch up on vaccinations Tuesday, a week after the winter storms that struck much of the United States, resulting in clinic closings, canceled appointments and backlogs across the country.
However, the limited supply of the two approved COVID-19 vaccines hampered the pace of vaccination even before last week’s extreme weather delayed delivery of about 6 million doses.
The White House promised Tuesday that aid is on the way.
According to Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, states can expect about 14.5 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine this week, up nearly a 70% increase in prevalence over the past month. And White House coronavirus coordinator Jeff Zients told governors Tuesday that the number of doses sent directly to pharmacies will increase by about 100,000 this week, Psaki said.
The increased efforts are due to the COVID-19 death toll in the US exceeding 500,000, far more than any other country.
Although the average daily deaths and cases have decreased, some experts say not enough Americans were vaccinated for the vaccine to make enough of a difference. The decline is instead due to the passing of the holidays, more people staying indoors during the winter, and better compliance with mask rules and social distancing.
In addition, they warn that dangerous variants could cause the trend to reverse. States are responding by simultaneously trying to catch up on last week’s break while preparing to vaccinate more people in the coming weeks.
The federally funded Houston vaccination center opens Wednesday at NRG Park and operates seven days a week for three weeks to dispense 126,000 first doses before switching to the second dose.
Texans are recovering from a devastating winter storm that killed at least 35 people, left millions without electricity and water, and delayed vaccinations.
“It has been trauma after trauma and people deserve good news, a hope,” said Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, the county’s elected officer.
In Buda, Texas, retired teachers Donna and Gerald Haschke, both 74, were due to have their second dose last week, but appointments were canceled three times because of the storm. Now her appointment has been postponed for Thursday.
As a precautionary measure, the couple endeavors to get a full vaccination after reducing all activities for months. Gerald Haschke has cardiac stents and Donna Haschke has atrial fibrillation, she said.
“My cardiologists said:” You don’t want to get COVID, “said Donna Haschke.” I said: ‘No, I don’t.’ To me that was a warning that I had to stay home, so we did that. “
The Haschkes only saw their grandchildren in masks occasionally. Donna stopped going to the YMCA where she used to ride the exercise bike and take aqua aerobics classes. She looks forward to relaxing a little after her second shot.
“I will definitely be doing aqua aerobics,” she said. “If I have to wear my mask in the pool, I will.”
In Mississippi, where COVID-19 vaccinations slumped last week in freezing temperatures and icy roads, health officials automatically rescheduled appointments and scheduled more people than normal for vaccinations by the weekend.
The state’s Department of Health said Monday that only 32,540 vaccinations were given in the state in the past week, up from 106,691 the previous week.
Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak said Monday that 46,000 doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, delayed by the weather, arrived in the state.
The head of the state’s Child, Family and Community Health Bureau said officials would work overtime to administer these doses along with the regularly scheduled delivery this week.
President Joe Biden said that any American who wants a vaccine can get one by the end of July.
However, the demand continues to exceed the limited supply from the US government.
Executives from five companies with contracts to supply gunshots to the United States – Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, and Novavax – testified Tuesday about the supply and manufacture of cans before the Congress Energy and Trade Committee.
Looking ahead to the summer, Pfizer and Moderna executives expect full shipments of 300 million doses each, and J&J plans to ship an additional 100 million doses. That would be more than enough to vaccinate every American adult, the goal of the Biden government.
Arizona is pushing plans to improve immunization and access to vaccines and is opening its fourth state mass vaccination clinic, Health Department officials said. In addition, transportation costs to and from vaccination appointments are now covered for those participating in Arizona’s Medicaid program, Governor Doug Ducey said.
“This change will make it easier for our most vulnerable Arizonans to get vaccinated,” Ducey said in a statement.
California Governor Gavin Newsom said 11 mobile clinics are opening in California’s vast Central Valley, an agricultural region hard hit by the coronavirus. They are mainly used to vaccinate farm workers who do not have transportation to major vaccination sites or who cannot navigate the state’s online registration portal.
Newsom said the state is also sending 34,000 additional doses of vaccine to this area from a pharmacy that is not using them fast enough.
Webber reported from Fenton, Michigan. Associate Press Writer Emily Wagster Pettus in Jackson, Mississippi; Mark Pratt in Providence, Rhode Island; Michelle Monroe in Sacramento, California; Michelle Price in Las Vegas; and Terry Tang in Phoenix contributed to this report.