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Winter storms disrupt vaccine effort as variants fuel new fears

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As Americans yearn for their pre-pandemic lives, the distribution of coronavirus vaccines is hitting delays as winter storms pummel the U.S. The disease has not only impacted how Americans live, but how long. Jonathan Vigliotti reports.

Video Transcript

NORAH O'DONNELL: There's also some encouraging news tonight in the COVID pandemic. Cases, hospitalizations, and deaths from COVID have all dropped dramatically over the past month. But health officials remain concerned about vaccine shortages and those dangerous new variants. Here CBS's Jonathan Vigliotti.

JOHNATHAN VIGLIOTTI: Tonight, the question on American's minds, when will life, get back to normal?

ANTHONY FAUCI: That likely will be, as the President said, by the end of the year, by Christmas.

JOHNATHAN VIGLIOTTI: Right now, severe weather is slowing down the availability of doses, forcing cancellations or delays of vaccine appointments in at least 32 states. California's Disneyland, one of the mega vaccination sites now closed until more doses arrive. To alleviate shortages, Canadian researchers are now urging governments to hold off on the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine. They say since one shot is more than 92% effective, a second dose doesn't add much benefit. CBS News medical contributor, Dr. David Agus disagrees.

DAVID AGUS: There is no data that one shot can be protective for these new variants and I think that's going to be critically important as we look at the whole picture.

JOHNATHAN VIGLIOTTI: Today, Pfizer began testing its vaccine unhealthy pregnant women. More than 4,000 volunteers are part of the study. And tonight, the profound impact of the pandemic, the CDC says COVID-19 dropped life expectancy in the US by a full year in the first six months of 2020. For Black Americans, more than 2 and 1/2 years.

- God, I miss her so much. So much.

JOHNATHAN VIGLIOTTI: 27-year-old Lelani Jordan was a grocery clerk in Maryland, who kept working despite the risks to help her elderly customers.

- I kept asking for one more day, just to touch her one more day.

JOHNATHAN VIGLIOTTI: She died in her mother's arms last spring.

- No mother, no parent should have to walk behind their child going to the morgue.

JOHNATHAN VIGLIOTTI: And the sadness and frustration continues for many others tonight. FEMA run sites like this have their own vaccine supply, which is running strong right now, but city run sites here in Los Angeles are struggling because of those weather delays. All locations will be closed tomorrow, impacting 12,000 people, Norah.

NORAH O'DONNELL: Yeah, those delays all across the country. Jonathan Vigliotti, thank you.