With vaccine delay, Biden warns of uncertain end to pandemic
Tue, 02/23/2021 – 02:00
While still hopeful that the country will return to some level of normalcy by the end of 2020, President Biden conceded Friday that the emergence of new coronavirus strains and continued logistical hurdles could push the timeline back. The latest problem arose as winter storms put vaccine shipments on hold for 3 days, leading to a backlog of 6 million doses. Even with the delays, Biden assured the country is still on pace to meet, and even exceed, his goal of delivering 100 million doses into Americans’ arms by day 100 of his presidency. “I can’t give you a date when this crisis will end,” he said Friday from Pfizer’s vaccine facility in Kalamazoo, MI, “but I can tell you we are doing everything possible to have that day come sooner rather than later.” Pfizer is expected to more than double the number of doses to the United States in the coming weeks from 5 million to more than 10 million. In another development, the company said its vaccine may be stored in standard freezers for as long as 2 weeks, possibly giving more small pharmacies and doctors’ offices the ability to administer the vaccine. Pfizer and partner BioNTech report they have submitted the new temperature data to FDA, which would have to approve any guidance to providers that would allow them to store the vaccines at the new temperatures. Pfizer is also looking into the viability of a single-dose formulation of its vaccine, based on new research results, but support for that change appears tepid at best.