HARRISBURG, DAUPHIN COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — The Wolf Administration blames the active winter weather pattern for triggering vaccine disruptions. While the latest storm hasn’t approached the severity of some others in Pennsylvania this winter, state officials say it’s not just what’s happening weather-wise in the Keystone State that can adversely impact COVID vaccine shipments.
“Severe weather across the nation and weather impacts outside the Commonwealth can potentially affect operations or functions within the state such as what we are seeing currently with vaccine shipping delays from the major hubs in other areas of the country,” said Randy Padfield, Director for PEMA.
On a media only conference call, members of the Wolf Administration discussed how the weather is impacting shipments this week of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines to Pennsylvania.
“Moderna vaccine was not shipped on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday from the distributor. Pfizer was not shipped on Monday and limited doses were shipped on both Tuesday and Wednesday,” Lindsey Mauldin, the Senior Advisor for COVID-19 Response with the PA Department of Health said.
It leaves thousands of thousands and thousands of patients in limbo who need that second dose or those who are scheduled for their first.
“There will be a significant backlog of orders for distribution as a result of the adverse weather,” said Mauldin. “The current storm affecting Pennsylvania may also delay any shipments that were sent out this week from reaching vaccine providers.”
Patients who need their second shot are on the clock. It’s recommended they get it four weeks after the first and not more than six weeks later. But will the vaccine for those second doses arrive on time?
“We believe that we can but we’re still assessing that and working with our partners on the ground at PEMA to make sure that we can get those vaccines out as quickly as possible,” Mauldin said.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health is recommending patients stay in close touch with their vaccine providers and contact them before traveling to your vaccine appointment so that it doesn’t become a needless trip. The DOH says the CDC is working with shipping partners to resume shipments as quickly and as safely as possible.