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Chicago residents dig out their car after a snowstorm coupled with lake-effect snow dumped more than 17 inches of snow in some areas of the city. Photo: Scott Olson via Getty Images

The winter storm sweeping across Texas and much of the U.S. has posed new obstacles to coronavirus vaccination efforts.

Driving the news: Hazardous weather has slowed deliveries from two central distribution hubs for the Southeast. The U.S. government is projecting "widespread delays" in vaccine shipments in the next few days, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) spokesperson told the Washington Post.

  • The CDC did not specify how many doses scheduled for delivery this week will be impacted.

The state of play: Several regions have canceled vaccination efforts, including Alabama, Indiana, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Tennessee and the Chicago area.

  • The Texas Department of State Health Services tweeted that it expects this week's shipments to arrive Wednesday at the earliest, depending on local conditions.
  • In Houston, the public health agency lost power and had to distribute thousands of shots before they went bad.
  • Missouri shuttered all large-scale vaccination sites through Friday.
  • Some counties in Minnesota have had to cancel vaccinations, a Fox News affiliate reports.
  • The grocery chain Publix stopped taking vaccine appointments in Florida, South Carolina and Georgia due to shipping delays.
  • The weather is expected to disrupt vaccine shipments from a FedEx facility in Tennessee and a UPS installation in Kentucky, which both operate as shipping hubs for several states, the Biden administration said.

The big picture: The storm has led to a number of deaths as well as a widespread power outage across Texas.

The bottom line: "No one wants to put vaccine at risk by attempting to deliver it in dangerous conditions," the Texas DSHS said in its Twitter post.

The other side: The Biden administration announced on Tuesday that the number of vaccines being sent weekly to states will increase again, from 11 million doses to 13.5 million, per The Post.

  • And FEMA launched its first mass COVID-19 vaccination sites yesterday in Los Angeles and Oakland. The sites are part of the administration's plan to distribute vaccines faster and to hard-hit communities.

Go deeper

Feb 16, 2021 - Health

FEMA launches first COVID-19 mass vaccination sites

A COVID-19 vaccination site in Los Angeles last week. Photo: Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on Tuesday launched its first mass COVID-19 vaccination sites in Los Angeles and Oakland, the AP reports.

Why it matters: The sites are going up as the Biden administration is working to speed up vaccine distributions. However, inclement weather throughout the U.S. is delaying vaccine deliveries and power outages forced officials in Texas to give out shots before they went bad.

Feb 16, 2021 - Health

Fauci: Timeline for widespread COVID-19 vaccine availability slightly delayed

Photo: Oliver Contreras/Sipa/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Most Americans will be able to get their coronavirus vaccines between the middle of May and early June, President Biden's chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci told CNN on Tuesday.

Why it matters: That timeframe is slightly delayed from Fauci's previous projection of late March to early April, and it comes after Johnson & Johnson failed to meet its promised supply timetable due to lags in production.

Texas governor calls for emergency probe into state's power grid

Pike Electric service trucks in Fort Worth, Texas on Feb. 16. Photo: Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) called for an investigation into the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) on Tuesday, in the wake of a statewide power outage that has affected millions during a historic winter storm.

Why it matters: Over 3 million customers in Texas are still without power, as more freezing rain, sleet, and snow is forecast for western Texas until 9 p.m. CST, per the National Weather Service.