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FEMA opens a large number of vaccine sites as bad weather hinders efforts

FEMA launched its first COVID-19 mass vaccination site on Tuesday, in Los Angeles and Auckland as part of efforts to make the Biden administration’s shootings faster.

Meanwhile, snow and ice weather in many parts of the United States could have canceled some vaccination events and disrupted vaccination in the coming days. Houston’s public health agencies lost power and had to scramble to give thousands of shots before they were ruined.

Development began as the impetus for vaccination increased. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States administers an average of about 1.67 million doses per day. At the same time, the number of deaths has dropped sharply in the last six weeks, and new cases have plummeted.

The death toll in the United States as a whole has reached nearly 490,000.

According to the CDC, nearly 38.3 million Americans, or nearly 12% of the US population, have been vaccinated at least once, and 14 million have both.

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The average daily death toll is about 2,400, a decrease of more than 900 from its peak in mid-January. In addition, the average number of new cases per day decreased to about 85,000, the lowest in three and a half months. This has decreased from a peak of about 250,000 per day in early January.

Early in the morning in Los Angeles, people spending time reading newspapers were already lined up in dozens of cars. This is 30 minutes before the 9 am opening of the country’s first mass vaccination site, operated with the support of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. agency.

An army in camouflage stood around a vast parking lot in Los Angeles, California, with about 40 white tents. Dozens of orange cones lined up to guide traffic.

The site is set up in Latino East Los Angeles and aims to vaccinate up to 6,000 people per day as part of the Biden administration’s efforts to reach a disproportionate community. .. Another such site has opened in Auckland.

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The devastated state of California overtook New York to kill 47,000, the highest in the United States.

The Biden administration plans to set up 100 such federal-backed vaccination sites nationwide.

Elsewhere in the country, the coronavirus has placed large dampers in Mardi Gras, New Orleans. Bourbon Street in the French Quarter is usually the place of the busiest parties, blocked by police barricades and ordered to close the bar.

“It’s hard to wrap your head,” said Dave Lancer, a New Orleans lawyer, wearing a bright green cloak and a black mask with a curved beak, looking up and down on the almost empty Bourbon Street. ..

“I don’t think there’s a safe way to do that this year,” he said. “So we support everything from parade cancellations to bar closures. That’s just the reality.”

Last year’s Mardi Gras crowd was blamed for the serious outbreak of COVID-19 in Louisiana.

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Vaccinations have been canceled in places such as Memphis, Tennessee and Missouri due to snow, ice and severe cold.

Harris County, Houston, hastily dispensed more than 8,000 Moderna corona virus vaccines after a public health facility power outage and its backup generator failed earlier Monday, officials said. Shots were distributed at three hospitals, Rice University and County Prison.

“I feel great. I am very grateful,” said Harry Goren, a 19-year-old sophomore. I’ve been waiting with my friends for nearly four hours, many of whom were one of the last to shoot in the cold. It didn’t reach the students until March or April.

More than 400,000 additional vaccines scheduled in Texas will not arrive until at least Wednesday, officials said.

The Biden administration said bad weather is expected to disrupt shipments from the FedEx facility in Memphis and the UPS facility in Louisville, Kentucky. Both serve as vaccine shipping hubs in many states.

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White House spokesman Jen Psaki said the government has increased the amount of vaccines sent to the state to 13.5 million times a week, a 57% increase since Biden took office almost a month ago. did.

Psaki also said that as part of a program to improve access to neighboring areas, the amount of vaccine sent to pharmacies across the United States has doubled to 2 million times a week.

Copyright 2021 AP communication. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.

FEMA opens a large number of vaccine sites as bad weather hinders efforts

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