Historic winter storm delays Covid vaccine shipments across the U.S.

Snow plow vans clear a road in New York, U.S., on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020.

Angus Mordant | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Shipments of Covid-19 vaccine doses had been delayed this week across a number of states because of the historic winter storms that swept across the nation, state and federal officers stated.

Nearly all of the doses that had been because of arrive in New York state final weekend have been delayed, Gov. Andrew Cuomo stated late Thursday.

“Every dose that should have shipped on Monday was held back, and only a limited number of Pfizer vaccines left shipping facilities on Tuesday and Wednesday,” Cuomo stated, including that the state is working with suppliers to “reduce the number of appointments that must be rescheduled.”

It’s not simply New York. Samantha Bequer, a spokeswoman for the Florida Division of Emergency Management, stated greater than 200,000 doses anticipated this week had not arrived.

“The state is still expecting to receive the full allocation of vaccines for Week 10,” Bequer stated in a press release. “Yesterday, the state was notified that federal deliveries of Moderna vaccine are still delayed by severe weather. At this time, the state has not been provided a new timeline on when to expect the delayed shipments.”

Bequer stated the state is working with suppliers and advising them to reschedule, however not cancel, vaccine appointments affected by the setbacks.

In Colorado, state officers stated earlier this week {that a} cargo of greater than 130,000 doses was delayed because of the storm. They stated the storm affected a vaccine distribution hub in Tennessee that pushed again shipments to a number of states.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services additionally stated Thursday it was notified by the federal authorities of continued delays in some shipments and deliveries this week because of extreme climate.

The Virginia Department of Health stated Thursday its anticipated supply of greater than 106,000 photographs will seemingly be delayed “due to distribution channels in the Midwest and elsewhere that are currently shut down.”

Andy Slavitt, the White House senior advisor for Covid response, confirmed Friday that there is now a backlog of about 6 million doses affecting all 50 states. “Many states” have been capable of make up for the missed deliveries with current stock, he stated at a White House Covid-19 briefing.

Health officers in California, Louisiana and Georgia have confirmed holdups to their shipments as nicely.

The Georgia Department of Public Health stated earlier this week that Pfizer and Moderna had been holding again the shipments because of the climate, which was “significantly impacting shipments of COVID-19 vaccine to Georgia.”

White House officers have acknowledged the setbacks. Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci warned on Thursday that the storm poses a major drawback to vaccine distribution.

“Well, obviously it’s an issue. It’s been slowed down in some places going to a grinding halt,” Fauci informed MSNBC. “We’re just going to have to make up for it as soon as the weather lifts a bit, the ice melts and we can get the trucks out and the people out.”

Slavitt informed CNN on Thursday night that officers are should “work double time next week, presuming the weather improves.” He added, nevertheless, that “there hasn’t been a single vaccine that’s spoiled.”

“We’re going to keep these vaccines safe and sound, then get them out to people and catch up just as soon as the weather allows,” he stated.

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