Severe weather impacts COVID-19 vaccine shipments locally, across N.C.

[image courtesy Moderna]

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services says it has been notified by the federal government of continued delays in some shipments and deliveries of COVID-19 vaccine this week due to severe weather.

Those delays are impacting first-dose shipments to the Albemarle Regional Health Services, but the district already had second dose stock on hand so those events are going on as planned, Director R. Battle Betts, Jr. said Thursday morning.

“We should receive shipping notifications once the weather allows the vaccine to move within the shipping channels,” Betts said. “We are also uncertain if we will receive the second doses we will need for next week in a timely fashion. We will do a formal announcement when the picture is a bit clearer on that front.”

Dare County Health and Human Services Director Sheila Davies said the delays will not have an impact on any upcoming clinics through Feb. 22, but she’s not sure if it will impact clinics scheduled for later next week.

Davies said her department also expects to hear today about a request to the state to host a mega vaccine event in Dare County at the end of February.

Dare health officials specifically requested 3,000 doses for the event, which would enable the county to vaccinate all of those 65 and over who are on the current wait list.

Across the state, both first and second dose shipments have been impacted, the state health department said in a news release. Health officials are working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and vaccine providers to help minimize the potential effects of these delays.

At this time, Moderna vaccines have not been shipped this week and only a limited number of Pfizer vaccines have been shipped. Both Pfizer and Moderna have a backlog of orders due to weather, the release said.

“As there is not enough vaccine in the state to shift or transfer supply in order to cover the delayed vaccine doses, DHHS is advising providers to assess current appointments and notify recipients accordingly based on on-hand supplies,” the release said.

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