Department of Health: Winter weather is causing delays for COVID-19 vaccine shipments

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LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — Even with snow and sleet falling in Lancaster on Thursday Peggy Paulson still went to get her COVID-19 vaccine after her pharmacy called to confirm her appointment.

“I called a friend with four-wheel-drive and he came and picked me up and brought me in,” Paulson said.

On Thursday the Pennsylvania Department of Health said winter weather is causing “significant delays” in vaccine shipments.

During a press call Lindsey Mauldin, a Senior Advisor with the DOH, said there were no shipments of the Moderna vaccine Monday through Wednesday this week.

Mauldin also said there were no Pfizer shipments on Monday, and she said there were limited shipments of that vaccine on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“The Center for Disease Control is working with shipping partners and distributors to resume shipments as quickly and safely as possible,” Mauldin said. “However, there will be a significant backlog as a result of the adverse weather. The current storm affecting Pennsylvania may also affect shipments from reaching vaccine providers.”

A spokesperson for Penn State Health, one of those providers impacted, said the healthcare provider will run out of the vaccine supply by the end of Tuesday unless they get more of it.

The weather-related delays are happening as the state looks to correct a mistake where second rounds of the Moderna vaccine were given out as first doses.

“We’re still assessing that and working with our partners on the ground at and PEMA to make sure we can get those vaccines out as quickly as possible,” Mauldin said.

Mauldin said the department of health is working on distribution strategies to make up for delays.

“We are continuing to work with counties and our partners on the ground to get them the vaccine they have been allocated,” Mauldin said. “We’ll continue to work with those folks as we continue to understand how the delays might work and how distribution might look like over the coming days.”

Mauldin said if someone has a COVID-19 vaccine scheduled they should contact their provider to make sure it’s still happening.

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