Department of Health Provides Update on Adverse Weather Impacting Vaccine Distribution and Administration, Assures Pennsylvanians will Be Vaccinated as Distribution Resumes

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Harrisburg, PA – As significant winter weather continues to impact much of the country, the Pennsylvania Department of Health was alerted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that vaccine sent to providers by Moderna and Pfizer will be delayed. The department wants Pennsylvanians to be aware that these delays could impact their scheduled appointments.

“Weather this week has been challenging in terms of getting vaccine delivered from manufacturers directly to vaccine providers in Pennsylvania and across the country,” Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam said. “As we have been emphasizing, we are working with our vaccine providers to ensure they are aware of the shipment delays as they continue to be in contact with people who have scheduled appointments to reschedule so that people are assured their vaccine.

“It’s too early to know which vaccine providers are being affected by these weather-related delays. We know that the federal government is working with manufacturers and we know that local vaccine providers will be ready when the shipments do get through. Unfortunately, weather delays will impact the ability to get vaccine into arms and providers are working to reschedule appointments as necessary.”

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.

Earlier this week, hubs from which vaccine is distributed were significantly affected by winter weather. Moderna vaccine was not shipped from the distributor on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday of this week. The CDC is working with shipping partners to resume shipments as quickly as possible.

Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines were not shipped on Monday, February 15. A limited amount of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was shipped on both Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.

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.

While vaccine supply from the federal government remains limited, the Department of Health is working to ensure the vaccine is provided in a way that is ethical, equitable and efficient.

The Wolf Administration stresses the role Pennsylvanians play in helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19:

Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

  • Cover any coughs or sneezes with your elbow, not your hands.
  • Clean surfaces frequently.
  • Stay home to avoid spreading COVID-19, especially if you are unwell.
  • If you must go out, you are required to wear a mask when in a business or where it is difficult to maintain proper social distancing.
  • Download the COVID Alert PA app and make your phone part of the fight. The free app can be found in the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store by searching for “covid alert pa”.

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