PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Tens of thousands of doses of the Moderna vaccine earmarked for Oregon have been held up by severe winter weather walloping the eastern United States.
Vaccine clinics in Oregon and Southwest Washington were still underway on Thursday as doses being administered this week had arrived last week before the storms.
Oregon officials said the state received its shipments of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on schedule. But the 67,000 Moderna doses expected to arrive on Tuesday have yet to show up and officials said there isn’t even a tracking number they can use to find out where they are.
The delay was triggered by more than nine inches of snow that fell this week in the FedEx hub of Memphis, Tennessee. People who would have signed up for vaccinations next week at places like the Oregon Convention Center will now have to wait.
People who are already scheduled for a vaccine should still plan on showing up for their appointment, the Oregon Health Authority said. There are currently no plans to delay sign-ups on Monday for Oregonians between the ages of 70 and 74 who will be eligible for a shot.
Pharmacies at places like Safeway and Albertson’s that just started giving COVID shots were also forced to halt new sign-ups.
“Typically, we have received vaccines over the course of the week at our pharmacies across the state and opened appointments late-day Thursday for vaccinations that start on Friday and that’s what we are looking to do again next week once we receive them,” said Jill McGinnis, a spokesperson for Safeway and Albertson’s.
The OHA said it expects to receive double the number of vaccine doses when they finally arrive — but it’s unclear how health officials would go about administering the surplus.