Military begins delivering vaccines in Texas, New York

Military begins delivering vaccines in Texas, New York

Beitragvon ritcha » Do 25. Feb 2021, 11:10

The U.S. military on Wednesday began delivering shots at coronavirus vaccination centers in Texas and New York and announced that service members will start staffing four centers in Florida and one in Philadelphia next week.

The expanded vaccination effort came as Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin met with military commanders overseeing the COVID-19 response effort. He also visited the vaccination center in Los Angeles, the first staffed by the new active-duty military teams that are being developed.

The Biden administration has said that delivering the vaccine to Americans is a top priority. The Pentagon is ramping up the deployment of what federal authorities say could be up to 100 vaccination teams around the country.

The stepped-up efforts reflect the extent to which the coronavirus has devastated the United States, killing more than 500,000 Americans. While average daily deaths and new infections have been falling, some experts say too few Americans have been inoculated for the vaccine to be making enough of a difference. The decline instead is attributed to the passing of the holidays, more people staying indoors during the winter and better adherence to mask rules and social distancing.

California has the highest coronavirus death toll in the nation, at more than 49,000. Austin is touring the federally run vaccination site that is set up on the campus of California State University of Los Angeles, which opened last week. The site, on the east side of LA, is staffed by a 222-member military team from Fort Carson, Colorado, and it highlights an effort by state leaders to make the vaccinations more available to communities hit hard by the pandemic.

Watching the line of cars file slowly through the parking area on campus as people in their cars got shots, Austin spoke with troops who have been giving out vaccines. One soldier from the area told Austin how thrilled he was to be able to give his own mother a shot.

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