VIRUS TODAY: Winter weather impacting U.S. vaccination plans


Here’s what’s happening Friday with the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S.:


— The White House is scrambling to find ways around Mother Nature as frigid temperatures, snow and ice have dealt the first major set back to the Biden administration’s planned swift rollout of coronavirus vaccines. The administration is working with states to make up for “lost ground” even as President Joe Biden planned to visit a Pfizer vaccine manufacturing plant in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The president’s trip itself had been pushed back a day to Friday due to wintry weather in the nation’s capital.

— Sales of previously occupied U.S. homes rose again last month, a sign that the housing market’s strong momentum from 2020 may be carrying over into this year. The housing market has mounted a strong comeback since last summer after declining sharply in the spring when the coronavirus outbreak hit. Existing U.S. home sales rose 0.6% in January from the previous month to a seasonally-adjusted rate of 6.69 million annualized units, the National Association of Realtors said Friday. It was the strongest sales pace since October. Sales surged last year to the highest level since 2006 at the height of the housing boom.

— Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said state residents have received more than 1 million doses of coronavirus vaccine. Updated figures show that Minnesota health care providers have administered 1,016,210 doses. The governor’s office said 728,081 Minnesotans have received at least one dose, including 286,543 who’ve completed the two-dose series. The seven-day rolling average of doses administered is now 29,705, a pace that has been picking up as limited supplies have allowed.


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