Winter weather and power outages had a chilling effect on Texas’s vaccination effort, one large enough to drag down inoculation trends nationwide. On Thursday alone, the state administered 118,417 fewer doses than on the same day a week earlier, according to the Bloomberg Vaccine Tracker. The seven-day average plummeted 31% in the past week to 89,324, the sharpest drop of the pandemic, the data show. At its Feb. 12 peak, Texas was giving an average 134,688 doses a day.
Storms that swept the nation in the past week hit particularly hard in the Lone Star State, where sprawling blackouts caused havoc. About 180,000 homes and businesses were still without electricity Friday, according to PowerOutage.us, which aggregates data from utility websites. More than 14.4 million people were affected by water outages.
The decline in vaccinations, though likely temporary, marks a setback as the country races to reach the most-vulnerable populations and head off the impact of new, easier-spreading virus variants that have gained a foothold.
The U.S. posted 71,130 Covid-19 cases on Thursday, bringing the seven-day average down to 72,188, the lowest since Oct. 27, according to Johns Hopkins University data. There have been almost 494,000 deaths reported in the U.S., the data show.
According to Covid Tracking Project data:
- The seven-day average of new cases was falling in 45 states compared with a week earlier.
- Among the states where cases are rising, North Dakota had the largest upswing, up 113% in the period, though the numbers were rising from a very low starting point.