During the February 22, 2021 White House COVID-19 Response Team press briefing, Andy Slavitt, Senior Advisor to the COVID Response Coordinator, provided updates on the steps taken to recover from the impact of extreme weather on vaccination efforts. Over the weekend, McKesson extended their shifts, UPS extended their onsite trailer time at the McKesson facility in Kentucky, and members of the military joined in the effort to pack and ship vaccines. 7 million doses were planned for delivery on Monday, February 22.
Vaccination centers are still impacted by the weather. While some vaccination clinics in Texas remain closed, plans are being made to extend hours and add additional locations once it is safe to reopen. Texas’s seven-day average of administered COVID-19 doses decreased by 31 percent in the past week.
Slavitt also announced the administration’s next steps toward building vaccine confidence. The White House, CDC, and HHS will host a series of listening sessions with key stakeholder groups, led by Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, to focus on how to eliminate barriers that underserved communities are facing to vaccinations.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, discussed a report released by the CDC on February 22 analyzing factors that contribute to outbreaks in schools and steps that can be taken to help prevent spread. While the report emphasized the importance of adequate physical distancing and mask adherence, the findings also highlight the importance of scaling up vaccination efforts across the country.
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