Winter storms across US impacting Florida’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution

Florida

(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis) / (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A winter storm in the United States has left millions without power, killed at least 20 people and caused many delays, whether it be with shipments or flights.

According to the National Weather Service, a coast-to-coast winter storm extending across the Great Plains and down into the Deep South could cause a cold snap unlike anything seen since 1905.

Unfortunately, the hazardous weather conditions have caused hundreds of thousands of COVID-19 vaccine shipments to be delayed, including those en route to the Sunshine State, according to Gov. Ron DeSantis.

“Weather conditions across the United States are impacting the shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine to Florida,” the governor tweeted Tuesday. “@FLSERT and @HealthyFla are providing regular updates to our partners to ensure the vaccine is distributed as efficiently as possible as it arrives.”

Of course, the delays have also affected many Tampa Bay vaccination sites and vendors. Here’s a list of counties and locations currently impacted by the winter storm delays:

Polk County

The Florida Department of Health in Polk County announced Tuesday it was experiencing vaccine shipment delays due to storms in the north.

DOH-Polk said the county is supposed to receive 7,000 first-dose vaccines and 5,500 second dose vaccines in the upcoming shipment.

People who are registered to receive their first or second vaccine dose this week should keep their phones nearby or check their email regularly in the event their appointment needs to be rescheduled. Those with impacted appointments will be contacted by DOH-Polk or its vaccination partners.

If an individual does not receive a call or email to reschedule their vaccine, they should expect to arrive at their appointment as planned.

Manatee County

The Florida Department of Health in Manatee County announced Wednesday that over 5,000 appointments scheduled for Thursday and Friday will be rescheduled to next week due to shipping delays caused by the winter storm up north.

The county said the appointment dates will be moved to Feb. 25 and Feb. 26.

Those with affected appointments should have received an automated message notifying residents that their appointment has been moved.

Sarasota County

Sarasota County Government officials notified residents Thursday that some of their vaccine supply has been delayed due to the bad weather through the country.

County officials asked that residents be patient and once more vials arrive, more appointments will be made available to the public.

Publix locations

Publix announced Tuesday that COVID-19 vaccine shipments to its pharmacies across the state of Florida have been delayed “due to inclement weather.”

As of Wednesday afternoon, residents cannot register for a new appointment. Typically, appointments must be made online, not over the phone or at a Publix Pharmacy location.

Publix provides COVID-19 vaccinations for seniors in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco, Citrus, Hernando, Sarasota, Manatee, and Polk counties.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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