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US government expects 'widespread delays' in Covid-19 vaccine shipments due to severe weather

Severe weather around the United States will delay Covid-19 vaccine deliveries in the coming days, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wed...

Posted: Feb 17, 2021 12:18 PM
Updated: Feb 17, 2021 4:30 PM

Severe weather around the United States will delay Covid-19 vaccine deliveries in the coming days, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday.

'Shipping partners are working to deliver vaccine where possible, contingent on local conditions, but the adverse weather is expected to continue to impact shipments out of the FedEx facility in Memphis, Tenn., as well as the UPS facility in Louisville, Ken., which serve as vaccine shipping hubs for multiple states,' CDC spokesperson Kristen Nordlund said in a statement.

'CDC and federal partners are working closely with the jurisdictions, as well as manufacturing and shipping partners, to assess weather conditions and help mitigate potential delivery delays and cancellations,' she said.

White House Covid-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients on Wednesday encouraged vaccination sites to extended hours to make up for the weather delays.

'The weather's having an impact,' Zients said. 'It's having an impact on distribution and deliveries from the delivery companies and the distribution companies. People are working as hard as they can, given the importance of getting the vaccines to the states and to providers, but there is an impact on deliveries.'

Weather-related delays could last two weeks

Delays in Covid-19 vaccine delivery due to the weather could continue 'for the next week to two weeks,' Lori Tremmel Freeman, chief executive officer 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 said.

Freeman said weather-related concerns were discussed briefly during a phone call between local health officials and the Biden administration on Tuesday.

FedEx and UPS contingency plans

In a statement Wednesday, FedEx said it had 'contingency plans in place to help lessen the effect of inclement weather on operations and service, and we are implementing those plans as we're able.'

The company said the weather had impacted much of its US network, including pickups and deliveries in certain cities.

'We have contingency planning in place related to the movement of vaccines, which have priority status within our network, and are working directly with our customers to help ensure their safe transport and delivery,' the statement said.

UPS spokesperson Glenn Zaccara said in a statement that pickups and deliveries would be made 'as soon as conditions safely permit.'

'UPS's air network is operating normally, and our ground operation is operating normally in areas where road conditions permit,' the statement said.

'We have extensive contingency plans for storms that help us to keep goods moving when roadways are impassable or airports are closed because of severe weather.'

UPS's meteorology team works with its healthcare command center and contingency teams to predict weather events and re-route shipments to keep vaccines 'on-track and on-time,' the statement said.

NYC to 'run out' of doses, mayor says

New York City on Wednesday had fewer than 30,000 first doses on hand due to weather-related shipment delays, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio.

'That means we're going to run out -- today, tomorrow -- we're going to run out,' de Blasio said of vaccine supplies.

'On top of that we've got the weather problem, all over the nation there's huge storms that are now causing delays in shipment.'

Vaccine shipments expected Tuesday and Wednesday were delayed, he said. As many as 30,000 to 35,000 appointments -- or even more -- might not be scheduled as a result.

'We're going to have to hold back appointments that New Yorkers need,' de Blasio said.

The city has administered 1,395,956 doses, more than the total population of Dallas, Texas.

Florida sees vaccine shipment delay of 200,000 doses

Florida officials blamed winter weather across the country for the shipment delay of 200,000 Moderna Covid-19 vaccine doses, according to Jason Mahon, spokesman for the Florida Department of Health.

The shipment was scheduled to arrive Tuesday, Mahon said.

The state has notified vaccine providers about the delay and asked them to reschedule appointments instead of canceling them, Mahon said.

Florida is expecting to receive next week's full allocation of the vaccine, according to Mahon.

More than 43,000 appointments affected in Indiana as 80 clinics closed

The closure in Indiana of 80 clinics due to the inclement weather impacted more than 43,000 vaccine appointments, Indiana Chief Medical Officer Dr. Lindsay Weaver said Wednesday.

Weaver said this week that the state also experienced delays in vaccine shipments because of the weather. The state has not received its Moderna vaccines for this week, and appointments will need to be rescheduled, according to Weaver.

Indiana will keep vaccine eligibility at age 65 and older until deliveries get back on schedule. Then the state plans to open eligibility to those ages 60 to 65, Weaver said.

'We will see how the weather continues to impact our shipments, but hopefully we will be able to expand as soon as sometime next week,' Weaver said.

President Biden: 'Vaccine will be widely available by end of July'

President Joe Biden said Tuesday night that Covid-19 vaccines will be widely available to the general public by the end of July. During the first town hall of his presidency, Biden offered some hope -- with a specific promise against which he will be judged -- for 600 million doses of vaccine to be available by the end of July.

'What's going to happen is it's going to continue to increase as we move along. We will have reached 400 million doses by the end of May and 600 million by the end of July,' Biden told CNN's Anderson Cooper in Milwaukee.

Biden predicted that life could be mostly back to normal by Christmas.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 749097

Reported Deaths: 13745
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1030271775
Lake554211006
Allen41613691
St. Joseph36933564
Hamilton36505416
Elkhart29347459
Tippecanoe22849225
Vanderburgh22540400
Porter19313325
Johnson18386387
Hendricks17583317
Clark13190193
Madison13111344
Vigo12602253
LaPorte12385221
Monroe12152175
Delaware10947197
Howard10250225
Kosciusko9609119
Hancock8541144
Bartholomew8158157
Warrick7854156
Floyd7763180
Grant7227179
Wayne7154201
Boone6911103
Morgan6735141
Dubois6211118
Marshall6205116
Cass5989108
Henry5893108
Dearborn588878
Noble579786
Jackson508374
Shelby500697
Lawrence4727121
Gibson444093
Harrison440473
Clinton439855
DeKalb438585
Montgomery433890
Whitley405642
Huntington402181
Steuben398659
Miami392568
Jasper386254
Knox375690
Putnam371860
Wabash360583
Ripley346470
Adams344955
Jefferson335685
White329753
Daviess3028100
Wells294881
Decatur289992
Greene286385
Fayette284664
Posey273735
LaGrange272872
Scott269855
Clay265448
Randolph244683
Washington244534
Jennings235149
Spencer234131
Starke227558
Fountain218347
Sullivan213943
Owen210858
Fulton201542
Jay200832
Carroll193420
Orange188055
Perry186937
Rush175626
Vermillion173544
Franklin170135
Tipton165746
Parke148916
Pike137934
Blackford136032
Pulaski120047
Newton112636
Brown103943
Crawford102316
Benton100814
Martin91415
Warren83515
Switzerland8098
Union72810
Ohio57811
Unassigned0421

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1107047

Reported Deaths: 20091
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1284921459
Cuyahoga1155972204
Hamilton812991245
Montgomery524821040
Summit48339999
Lucas43303817
Butler38901603
Stark33286929
Lorain25641502
Warren24557303
Mahoning22330601
Lake21135385
Clermont20097252
Delaware18817135
Licking16645222
Fairfield16561204
Trumbull16522479
Medina15593270
Greene15252246
Clark14219306
Wood13280197
Portage13226214
Allen11905239
Richland11598211
Miami10835223
Wayne9116222
Columbiana9020230
Muskingum8889135
Pickaway8649122
Marion8635138
Tuscarawas8633247
Erie8052164
Ashtabula7137179
Hancock6996131
Ross6933161
Geauga6832150
Scioto6528104
Belmont6149174
Union583849
Lawrence5722102
Jefferson5669158
Huron5539122
Sandusky5436125
Darke5415129
Seneca5343126
Washington5308109
Athens523360
Auglaize501587
Mercer487385
Shelby476195
Knox4567112
Madison443765
Ashland435197
Putnam4333103
Fulton431871
Defiance431798
Crawford4033110
Brown401961
Logan387277
Preble3847103
Clinton378466
Ottawa372681
Highland359265
Williams347578
Champaign343658
Guernsey324153
Jackson317354
Perry297150
Morrow291340
Fayette285450
Hardin274865
Henry273267
Holmes2698101
Coshocton268359
Van Wert247264
Adams242856
Pike242735
Gallia240450
Wyandot234556
Hocking220162
Carroll196748
Paulding176342
Meigs148240
Monroe136144
Noble135839
Harrison113638
Morgan109624
Vinton85417
Unassigned03
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Tuesday is another mostly sunny and comfortable day with a small chance of a stray afternoon shower or sprinkle.
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