“I don’t believe that it’s anticipated it will have long-reaching outcomes, but certainly for the next week to two weeks, we might expect to see some impact from the weather,” Lori Tremmel Freeman, CEO of the National Association of County and City Health Officials, told CNN on Wednesday.
“The two biggest shippers involved here — UPS and FedEx — have major either hubs or warehouses down in the South, in Memphis and in other areas. So, we do expect there could be a blip in delivery of vaccine that is weather related specifically,” Freeman added.
Jeff Zients, the White House Covid-19 response coordinator, said Wednesday the federal government was encouraging governors and other partners to extend hours once vaccine sites are able to reopen.
Here’s what we know about how weather is affecting vaccinations in each state.
Dr. Karen Landers of the Department of Public Health said weather conditions could delay some shipments.
“Vaccine allocated to Alabama will be shipped when weather conditions allow, and clinics will be scheduled accordingly,” Landers added.
A Monday news release said multiple health department locations would be closed Tuesday due to weather.
The release said health officials will assure residents the opportunity to get their second Covid-19 dose over the next two weeks, with extended clinic hours “as staffing availability permits.”
Steve Elliott, a spokesperson for the Health Department, said all allocations of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are delayed due to weather — but that doesn’t mean residents expecting shots over the next few days will have appointments canceled.
“This situation is fluid and will depend on each provider’s current supply,” Elliott said. “At this time, there are enough Pfizer doses available for all sites, including state PODs in Maricopa County, to maintain operations without interruption. These PODs handle a large proportion of vaccination in Maricopa and Pima counties, which are positioned to work with the rigorous storage requirements and large lot sizes of the Pfizer vaccine.”
As for rural counties, and smaller providers in Pima and Maricopa counties, they can administer the Moderna vaccine, Elliott added.
“Counties are the local allocators for vaccine across Arizona, and specific information on any impacts on appointments in each local jurisdiction would come from the individual counties,” the spokesperson added. “For those living in rural Arizona or having appointments for first or second doses at providers administering the Moderna vaccine, we recommend checking with your county health department or the provider in question.”
A state spokesperson said Wednesday that delays were possible but have mostly been on schedule.
“Vaccinations through our statewide system of providers are continuing as possible, but some appointments will be rescheduled and certain clinics that had been planned this week have been moved into next week,” the spokesperson added.
Local leaders have provided updates on how vaccinations will be affected.
San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said local officials were notified that expected vaccine shipments will not arrive.
“It’s very likely that as early as tomorrow a number of vaccination sites will have to pause, some appointments that were made will have to be rescheduled, and then we will have limited dosages until the supply chain opens up,” Fletcher said Wednesday.
Monterey County health officials also said Wednesday there were vaccine delays.
Santa Barbara health officials announced in a news release Wednesday they had been notified by the California Department of Public Health that their allotment of the Moderna vaccine “is continuing to be delayed due to severe weather conditions across the country.”
“CDPH has indicated that they do not have information on expected delivery time frames for the order, however will communicate as soon as shipments of all held orders are resumed,” the release said.
Some Thursday and Friday appointments will be rescheduled, the release said.
In Colorado, state officials said in a news release Tuesday that winter storms affecting a vaccine distribution hub in Tennessee have caused a delay in vaccine shipments.
The release said health officials were working with local providers and public health agencies to make adjustments “to make sure appointments and clinics do not need to be canceled.”
“In anticipation of the holiday weekend, Colorado requested and received doses Friday that were originally scheduled for this week. This decision helps us have enough on hand to work with providers to move doses around to prevent cancellations,” the release said.
A Health Department spokesperson told CNN Wednesday the state had not seen any weather-related impacts on vaccines.
“Most of our first dose shipments for this week made it out before the storms hit,” the spokesperson said. “We don’t know yet if any of our second dose shipments that were scheduled for later in the week will be affected.”
Jennifer Brestel, spokesperson for the Division of Public Health, told CNN on Wednesday that weather conditions in other parts of the country are having an impact on vaccine deliveries from the federal government to the state.
“While this is not directly impacting our vaccination activities currently, we are keeping an eye on supply and will continue to coordinate with our vaccine partners,” Brestel added.
The health department said Tuesday that Pfizer and Moderna vaccines scheduled to arrive early this week would be delayed due to weather.
“As a result, many providers statewide, including health departments, are being forced to reschedule appointments for vaccination. Rescheduling appointments will depend on when shipments resume and when the vaccine arrives in Georgia. Delays are expected to continue through the week,” the department said in a news release.
Niki Forbing-Orr, a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Welfare, told CNN on Wednesday Moderna didn’t ship any vaccine Monday or Tuesday and Pfizer shipped “only very limited quantities.”
Officials are aware of some delays that vary by health district and provider.
“If people with appointments are not contacted and told that their appointments have been canceled, they should assume it is still on schedule,” Forbing-Orr added.
Chief Medical Officer Dr. Lindsay Weaver said Wednesday more than 43,000 vaccine appointments have been affected by weather this week, with more than 80 clinics around the state closed.
Weaver added the state has not received its Moderna vaccines for the week and more appointments could be rescheduled over the next couple of days.
During a Wednesday news conference, Kelly Garcia, director of the Department of Human Services, said officials will make up for supply-chain delays within the week.
Gov. Andy Beshear said in a news release regional vaccination centers will stay open Thursday.
People can reschedule online if they need to, the release said.
According to the Department of Health website, vaccine shipments to the state are delayed.
“As we learn more information and have greater understanding of estimated times of arrival, we will share that information,” a message reads.
Officials encourage residents with vaccine appointments this week to contact their providers for updates.
Maryland health officials said they anticipate delays in their vaccine shipments, with limited vaccines sent to the state in recent days due to winter weather that “created a significant backlog.”
The state says stopped shipments could have a “significant impact on providers’ ability to hold clinics as scheduled.”
“We anticipate a significant backlog of orders for distribution once operations resume and every effort will be made to catch up as soon as possible while safely delivering the vaccines,” officials said in a bulletin shared with vaccine providers.
The Baltimore City Health Department said Wednesday it was postponing all Covid-19 testing and vaccine operations Thursday, including several mobile vaccination clinics.
“The Baltimore City Health Department will reschedule everyone with a 2/18 appointment to Saturday, February 20th. Those with second-dose appointments scheduled for Thursday will be receiving an email this afternoon detailing their rescheduled appointment time, as well as an opportunity to change your second dose appointment if Saturday does not work for your schedule,” the department said in a Facebook post.
Health officials wrote Tuesday on Twitter, “We recommend confirming vaccine appointments scheduled in the next couple days as there may be some delays in vaccine shipments as a result of the inclement winter weather.”
A spokesperson said Wednesday local public health agencies in the state were having some delivery delays.
“We are adjusting our vaccination schedules to ensure the most efficient delivery of vaccine possible under those circumstances,” the spokesperson said.
Greg Cassell, with the Southern Nevada Health District, said Wednesday the Moderna vaccine shipment for the week did not come, so all Moderna second doses are canceled.
Appointments will be rescheduled for next week if vaccines are available by then, Cassell added.
Officials said Wednesday shipments were delayed this week and vaccine sites have been relying on their inventory on hand to keep scheduled appointments.
If vaccine sites don’t have enough vaccine, there should be plans to reschedule appointments, officials said.
Matt Bieber, Health Department spokesperson, said some Pfizer shipments were delayed and public health offices had to cancel some vaccine events this week.
“We expect this to be a momentary blip in our operations,” Bieber said Wednesday.
New York City, where Mayor Bill de Blasio said officials were already dealing with a short supply, is also seeing vaccine shipment delays.
Vaccines that were scheduled to come in by Tuesday or Wednesday will be arriving later, the mayor said.
“That means we’re going to have to hold back appointments that New Yorkers need, because the vaccine isn’t arriving,” he said.
As many as 30,000 to 35,000 or more appointments will have to be held back and not scheduled, he added.
“So, this is now a real challenge on top of everything else we’re facing,” the mayor said Wednesday. “We’re watching it hour to hour.”
Shipments of vaccines to North Carolina have been impacted as well, according to a news release Thursday from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
The agency said it was notified by the federal government of “continued delays in some shipments and deliveries of COVID-19 vaccine this week due to severe weather,” impacting shipments of both first and second doses.
At the time, the NCDHHS said the Moderna vaccines had not been shipped this week, and only a limited number of Pfizer vaccines had been shipped.
“These delays may cause vaccination appointments to be postponed or rescheduled,” the release said, and the NCDHHS told providers to “assess current appointments and notify recipients accordingly based on on-hand supplies.”
The state is working with the CDC and vaccine providers to “help minimize the potential effects of these delays,” the release said.
Officials said Tuesday they were advised both Pfizer and Moderna shipments could be delayed by one or two days.
“Many providers are continuing with their scheduled vaccination appointments, but some have canceled appointments due to snow emergencies,” officials said.
Providers that have canceled appointments are contacting patients by phone, email or posting on social media.
“Ohioans who haven’t heard from their provider and are concerned about whether or not their appointment is still scheduled should contact their provider or visit their website,” officials added. “Ohioans who need to cancel their vaccination for any reason should contact their provider to reschedule.”
Keith Reed, Deputy Commissioner of Health, said Wednesday weather conditions were impacting the state’s ability to get shots into arms and have “forced many cancellations and reschedules.”
“Shipments have been delayed, too,” Reed added. Shipments that normally come during the week will this time likely come over the weekend.
“We have had to very closely monitor storage of vaccine as well to ensure we do not lose anything to power outages. So far so good. We have had to move vaccine around to more secure/stable environments, but no loss of vaccine so far.”
The state was planning to ramp up its vaccine efforts starting this weekend to make up for “lost ground,” Reed added.
“We are also sending vaccine to some targeted health systems such as dialysis centers to help us reach our comorbidities population,” Reed said.
Health Authority spokesperson Jonathan Modie said Wednesday about 67,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine were expected to arrive in Oregon this week but will likely be delayed until next week.
“Severe weather in the Midwest has delayed COVID-19 vaccine shipments across the country, including in Oregon,” Modie said. “In addition, the severe weather in Oregon impacted the ability for vaccine sites to actually administer vaccines.”
Residents who are scheduled to have their vaccine and have questions on possible delays can check in with their vaccine providers for updates, Modie added.
Maggi Barton, deputy press secretary for the Health Department, told CNN Wednesday vaccine shipments would be delayed.
“Since the vaccine is sent directly from the federal government to providers, they will work to ensure vaccine is delivered safely and efficiently despite winter weather,” Barton said.
Local health leaders will reschedule appointments if necessary, Barton added.
“If a resident is unable to make their appointment due to the weather, they should contact their provider to cancel and find time to reschedule that appointment.”
Meanwhile, James Garrow, a spokesperson for Philadelphia’s Health Department, said the city had not received its expected deliveries of vaccines.
“At this time, the Health Department has been able to transfer doses between sites to ensure that clinic operations can continue. If delays continue for much longer, operations may be affected and some clinics may be forced to close until they are resupplied,” Garrow said.
Tom Hudachko, a Health Department spokesperson, told CNN Wednesday some vaccine providers had to reschedule clinics from this week to next week because of shipping delays.
“Other providers are working together to transfer doses among themselves to cover appointments. We do not have an official count of appointments that have been rescheduled,” he said.
In a news release Thursday, the Virginia Department of Health said it expected the delivery of approximately 106,800 doses to be delayed, “due to distribution channels in the Midwest and elsewhere that are currently shut down.”
There could be additional delays for orders the state is placing this week, the release said, because of weather. “Even if the roads are clear in Virginia, the fulfillment of orders and the movement of these vaccine and ancillary supplies may be delayed in other parts of the country.”
Providers have also been forced to postpone multiple vaccination events that were supposed to take place in the next few days. Individuals who had appointments will be contacted about rescheduling.
Shelby Anderson, spokesperson for the Department of Health, said Wednesday officials were informed that Moderna vaccines were not shipped this week.
“A limited number of Pfizer vaccine shipments were processed Tuesday and a similar plan is in effect for today. I do not have the number of doses impacted, but I am told it is a very significant amount of the state’s allocation this week,” Anderson said.
A Health Department spokesperson told CNN on Wednesday officials were made aware that some Moderna vaccine shipments were delayed but did not have information on how those delays could affect scheduled appointments.
“We are hoping to get more information soon, as is everyone else affected,” the spokesperson said.