- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 16, 2021

The White House on Tuesday said a federal pharmacy program will receive 2 million doses of coronavirus vaccine week, or double the 1 million dispatched to launch the direct-to-drugstores initiative last week.

The program allows pharmacies to set up vaccine appointments with seniors and others who are eligible in their respective states, without eating into the regular weekly allocation to governors.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the federal government is slightly increasing the regular weekly allocation to the states to 13.5 million, up from 11 million.

The vaccine campaign is generally improving, with an average of 1.7 million doses delivered per day compared to 1.3 million at the start of the month.

Yet a massive winter storm rolling across the U.S. is upending the rollout in parts of the country.

Army Gen. Gustave Perna, who oversees federal vaccine logistics, told governors their shipments might be delayed this week.

“General Perna warned us that because of the time it takes to de-ice planes, it slows things down at the different regional hubs,” said Michael Ricci, spokesman for Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan.

Clinics from Texas to Missouri to Ohio had to reschedule vaccine appointments due to winter storms.

Houston-area officials also had to quickly dole out or “re-refrigerate” 8,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine on Monday after a generator failed, causing freezers to thaw.

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