INDIANAPOLIS — With a winter storm sweeping across the nation this week, around 6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been delayed in getting to vaccine sites to administer to Americans.
White House coronavirus adviser Andy Slavitt said shut down transportation hubs and highways caused put a hamper on the government's plan, but he said it's possible to catch up, as long as there's a concerted effort.
Part of that effort will come from FedEx, as it reroutes some of its shipments to its second-largest hub in Indianapolis.
Slavitt said the weather led to a three-day delay in shipping vaccines, or about 6 million doses. He said the vaccine won't spoil and is "safe and sound" in warehouses.
About 1.4 million doses were being shipped Friday and the rest of the backlog should be cleared in several days. In addition, the government said it is opening up five new mass vaccination centers, one in Philadelphia, and four others in the Florida cities of Miami, Orlando, Tampa and Jacksonville.
FedEx is facing delivery delays because of snow at its world hub in Memphis. To keep up with demand, the shipping giant is leveraging its Indianapolis hub, as well as regional hubs in California and New Jersey to reroute vaccine shipments to as many locations as possible.
The company said contingency plans are in effect as it adapts to the changing weather conditions throughout the country.
FedEx transports COVID-19 vaccines from manufacturers and distributors to dosing centers based on the government's allocation and distribution plans.