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White House announces another bump in vaccine supply; winter storm disrupts vaccination sites nationwide

The site of the mass vaccination clinic put on by Medical Center Hospital and the City of Odessa at Ratliff Stadium in Midland, Tex., is covered in snow and ice on Feb. 13, 2021. (Eli Hartman/AP)
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The White House announced Tuesday that states can expect a slight boost in coronavirus vaccine supplies as manufacturers continue to scale up production. The weekly supply of vaccines being sent to states will grow from 11 million doses to 13.5 million, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday. The announcement comes less than a week after the Biden administration disclosed that it had finalized an agreement with two drugmakers to buy an additional 200 million doses by the end of July.

But punishing winter storms have hampered the vaccination drive. The hazardous weather and widespread power outages closed hundreds of vaccination sites nationwide and created dangerous road conditions that will lead to “widespread delays” in vaccine shipments, the CDC said.

Here are some significant developments:

  • The rate of new coronavirus cases continued to decline Monday and Tuesday, as the country’s rolling average of daily infections fell below 90,000 for the first time in more than 100 days. However, the milestone follows a holiday weekend, and holiday weekends have historically produced backlogs in virus case data.
  • The Transportation Security Administration reported back-to-back days of more than 1 million air travelers over Presidents’ Day weekend, rivaling New Year’s travel volume.
  • North Korea tried to hack into the servers of the U.S. drugmaker Pfizer to steal coronavirus vaccine technology, South Korean intelligence officials said.
  • The World Health Organization has approved the AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine, opening the way for millions of doses of the inexpensive vaccine to be shipped to lower-income countries as part of an effort backed by the United Nations to stop the pandemic.
  • Nearly a year into the pandemic, Americans are increasingly turning to more extremist beliefs marked by a wholesale distrust in authorities — a historical pattern for pandemics since ancient times.

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