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COVID-19 vaccines experience shipping delays due to weather

(Workers in Summit County administering vaccines. Credit: Mike Anderson, KSL TV.)

SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah – Nasty weather across the country is delaying the arrival of new COVID-19 vaccines, and local health workers are making do with what they have. 

The recent storms have caused major problems for the health officials in Utah as well. 

Some agencies, like the Weber-Morgan Health Department, will have to postpone some of their second-dose appointments because of the shipping delays. However, other local health boards aren’t seeing that problem. 

Officials in Summit County decided to use second doses as first doses, and they thought they would have to postpone some second appointments. However, County Spokesperson Krachel Fullmer reported they were able to reposition some medications, so they won’t need to push back anyone’s scheduled vaccination.

Fullmer said, “Later this week, we fully anticipate being able to replace those doses.” She believes they might get their expected allotment of COVID-19 vaccines by Friday.

In Utah County, health workers expected to get their new doses on Monday.

However, because of the holiday and the bad weather in the eastern part of the country, they don’t expect those to arrive until Thursday.  Luckily, that delay isn’t forcing the county to push back any vaccinations, at all. 

Utah County Health Department Spokesperson Aislynn Tolman-Hill believes that might be partly due to fewer people signing up for appointments in recent days.

“We really do see that we are getting close to the end of reaching those that do want their vaccine and are over the age of 70,” Tolman-Hill said.

According to Utah Department of Health Immunization Manager Rich Lakin, the delays are impacting every county in the state. However, county directors are doing a good job communicating with each other to find any possible extra doses to ship them to areas in need.

“It’s just a juggling act right now, moving vaccine here and there,” Lakin said. “The local health departments are doing the best they can to ensure that people don’t have to cancel their appointments.”