HARRISBURG, DAUPHIN COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — PEMA Director Randy Padfield, PennDOT Deputy Secretary for Highway Administration Melissa Batula and Department of Health Senior Advisor for COVID-19 Response Lindsey Mauldin are holding a briefing to discuss the state’s response to the snowstorm that is affecting much of the state, and an update on the storm’s impact on COVID-19 vaccine delivery and distribution.
Director Padfield discussed how severe weather across the nation can affect operations in the commonwealth, such as with vaccine distribution. Padfield said shipping delays are expected and adversely affected by the current weather systems across the country.
Acting Secretary Mauldin says shipments of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine were not shipped on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday from its distributer. The CDC is working with distributors to resume shipments quickly and safely.
Mauldin says it’s safe to say the majority of vaccine providers in the commonwealth have been affected by the weather. Distributions to the DOH, providers and hospitals have been affected, Mauldin said.
The DOH is working with PEMA to see how potential weather could affect distribution again next week.
Secretary Batula anticipates there to be a large backlog of vaccine shipments and will continue to work with PEMA to monitor inventory. The DOH says they are working with community partners as they begin to understand how severe the backlog of vaccines is and which communities are in need.
Batula says these restrictions are a balance of precaution and flexibility to keep goods moving and prioritize routes to healthcare facilities.
All agencies suggested contacting your provider if you have a scheduled appointment to receive the vaccine during this winter storm.
Anticipating these delays, state agencies planned to compensate these situations affecting the state. Padfield said they have increased staff within PennDOT, the Turnpike Commission and the Department of Health.
Secretary Batula with PennDOT explained how the agency is remaining in active communication with other state agencies as well as community partners. Batula spoke on the speed and vehicle restrictions that have been put into place on affected roadways.
Mobilized teams from PennDOT are assisting in the hardest hit regions. Keep track of road conditions on 511PA.com.