MCLEAN & LIVINGSTON COUNTY, Ill. (WMBD) — The week’s winter weather caused delays in the fight against the pandemic.
Snow and ice storms delayed shipments of COVID-19 vaccinations from getting to local health departments in time for scheduled second doses.
Vaccine clinics in both McLean and Livingston counties were forced to reschedule appointments for patients, including those waiting to get the second dose of the vaccine.
Erin Fogarty, Health Education and Marketing Director at the Livingston County Health Department said the department hasn’t received shipments this week due to ice storms down south.
“We’ve been informed there’s been about a three day delay in shipment right now,” Fogarty said.
Both Moderna and Pfizer are facing transportation delays due to winter weather. Fogarty said Livingston County is primarily short on Moderna’s second dose shots.
“Unfortunately, because we’re not able to mix the vaccines; mixing Moderna and Pfizer, it’s only impacting right now the second doses of our Moderna vaccine administration,” Fogarty said.
McLean County’s Health Department is also pushing back appointments to a later date.
Jessica McKnight, public health administrator, said they’ve planned for delays.
“We’re scheduling 21 or 28 days, so we do have a little bit of leeway for this type of delay,” McKnight said.
If someone is due for dose two but the shot is delayed, health professionals have said not to worry yet.
Both McKnight and Fogarty said there are buffers built into scheduling.
Depending on which vaccine a patient receives, there might be three to four weeks in between first and second doses.
But, Sarah Overton, Chief Nursing Officer for O.S.F. Multi-specialty Services, said patients have up to six weeks to receive dose two.
“It has been tested on those delayed efficacies and it still shows a good responsiveness according to our infectious disease physicians and our pharmacists,” Overton said. “We do not anticipate any gaps or issues with vaccination and the efficacy or the coverage in which we’re seeing.”
This means a delayed shipment doesn’t automatically mean patients are back to square one in the process.
McLean County canceled its vaccination clinic Friday, Feb. 19, at the arena due to short supply. McKnight said those with appointments will be contacted within the six week timeframe.
“We’re working with anybody who’s scheduled; we use the state’s EMS track system so we can send out email messages and information on how those individuals who are needing to be rescheduled can be rescheduled,” McKnight said.
McKnight said those without internet and scheduled through the county’s call center will be notified via phone call.
Both the McLean and Livingston County Health Departments hope to have the delayed shipment early next week. There is no confirmed shipping date at this time.