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Could winter weather across nation impact COVID-19 vaccine shipments to Louisiana?

Published: Feb. 17, 2021 at 10:29 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - With this nasty cold and icy weather hitting parts of the United State and our area, could these weather issues impact vaccine shipments on their way to our state?

FedEx expects package delays due to the Winter storm, and that could include those COVID-19 vaccines at some of your providers.

“This weather event is causing some delays with the vaccine shipment. This is happening across the country, here in Louisiana as well,” said Dr. Joseph Kanter with the Louisiana Department of Health.

FedEx officials say the wintry conditions are causing huge disruptions at their big facility hub in Memphis.

The company, along with the UPS facility in Louisville, Kentucky serves as vaccine shipping hubs for a lot of states.

“Unfortunately, some shipment this week of vaccine doses are being pushed back.”

WAFB checked in with our big health care providers on what their situations are like this week regarding vaccine appointments.

A spokesperson with Our Lady of the Lake says the weather forced them to reschedule vaccine appointments Monday and Tuesday, but they picked back up on Wednesday, February 17. “We are prepared to add additional hours on the weekend to ensure all scheduled appointments for this week are completed.”

But as for Baton Rouge General, a spokesperson there says, “If we don’t receive our shipment in the morning, we will call those scheduled for the afternoon and Friday to reschedule for next week.”

But if you’re getting your shot at Ochsner, we’re told the “vaccine clinic is on as scheduled for tomorrow (February 18).”

“If folks on the line have an appointment the next couple of days, at a clinic or a hospital to get a dose of the vaccine, please communicate with that clinic because it might get postponed,” said Dr. Kanter.

But there is some good news regarding those of you getting your second dose when it comes to the timetable as to when you can receive it.

“For the follow-up dose after your first, it’s okay if you need to push that back a couple of days. We do want people to get it as close to that 21 days for Pfizer, that 28-day mark for Moderna if possible. But if circumstances demand you push it back like now, that’s okay just get with your provider and get it as soon as you can, once you can,” said Dr. Kanter.

The U.S. government says it’s working with multiple agencies to assess weather conditions and to reduce potential vaccine delivery delays.

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