PENNSYLVANIA, USA — Pennsylvania's Department of Health said over the next two to three weeks about 30,000 to 60,000 first doses may need to be rescheduled as inclement weather has delayed deliveries of the COVID-19 vaccine across the state.
The news comes as the Department is set to present a strategic plan Tuesday to the state's bipartisan COVID-19 task force as it seeks to rapidly increase the efficiency of distribution.
"I'm looking forward to tomorrow hearing from the Department of Health, Secretary Beam, presenting to the task force a recommended strategic plan that's based on the feedback that the task force has brought to the Governor," said Republican Sen. Ryan Aument of Lancaster County, who is a member of the task force.
Aument noted supply is still at the heart of the issues the state is facing in vaccination distribution. But, he said communication across the state must also be improved.
"The Governor has used the task force not only for feedback, but has used the task force as a decision making body," said Aument as he said the task force has been assisting in finding solutions to all issues facing the rollout including the current delays.
Multiple Pennsylvania providers have reported not receiving deliveries of both the Moderna and Pfizer shot last week due to issues caused by mother nature after Pennsylvania's Department of Health said the weather directly impacted vaccination hubs.
"There will be a significant backlog of orders for distribution as the federal government and the distributors work to begin shipping again. The federal government is working to catch up as efficiently as possible," said Pennsylvania's Department of Health in a press release.
The Department said the Moderna vaccine was not shipped from the distributor on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday of last week. Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines were not shipped on Monday, February 15 and only a limited amount of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was shipped on both Tuesday and Wednesday of last week. Providers are contacting impacted patients. Meantime, providers who did not receive doses last week are expected to receive deliveries this week.
"We haven't received our order from last week which was supposed to be here last Monday and we had to cancel all appointments for this past Sunday. We had to cancel appointments for Tuesday," said Marc Ost of Eric's RX shop in Montgomery County who has already delayed 220 appointments.
Pennsylvania was allocated 183,575 first doses of vaccine this week, 112,400 doses of Moderna and 71,175 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech. Philadelphia receives its own, separate allocation of vaccine.