Winter storms delay 6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine

President Joe Biden's coronavirus advisors say 6 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines have been delayed by the recent winter storms, creating a 3-day backlog that has affected all 50 states.  

The frigid winter weather closed roads and interstates, left vaccine production workers unable to get to factories, and shut down about 2,000 vaccine sites because of power outages.

Rather than risk having doses ship only to expire before they could be given out, they were left at the manufacturing sites and distribution hubs.

The president's senior advisor for the pandemic Andy Slavitt says the vaccine is once again shipping Friday, and they hope to catch up on vaccinations by the end of next week.

"We're asking vaccine administration sites to extend their hours even further, and offer additional appointments, and to try to reschedule the vaccinations over the days and coming weeks as significantly more vaccine arrives," Slavitt says.  "States and vaccination sites are going to want to be prepared for the additional volume."

By noon Friday, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said about 46 million Americans had received their first dose of vaccine.

A new CDC study looks at about 1.6 million of the first people vaccinated in the first who signed up for the CDC's v-safe, a new phone-based COVID 19 vaccine safety monitoring system.

"Among those enrolled, 71% reported pain where the shot was given, 34% reported fatigue and 30% reported a headache," Dr. Walensky says. "These are common with most vaccines and they typically resolve with a day or two of vaccination. It's important to know about half of the people don't feel very well after getting their second dose. This should not deter you from getting your second dose, but you need to have a light day of activity after getting vaccinated."

A new Israeli study found a single dose of the Pfizer vaccine offers over 85% protection between two and four weeks after the shot.  

But, Dr. Anthony Fauci says the FDA is sticking with the recommend two-doses.

"The reason is, even if you can get a fair degree of quote 'protection' after a single dose, it clearly is not durable," Dr. Fauci says.  "We know that.  The durability is not as much as the durability that you would get with the boost."

Dr. Fauci says research shows the second dose of the vaccine triggers ten times the immune response of the first dose.  

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