California vaccinations hit by icy weather shipment delays
DUBLIN, Calif. - California has closed some vaccination centers and delayed appointments following winter storms elsewhere in the country that hampered the shipment of doses.
At a federal court hearing on Friday, lawyers for Alameda County said that a Moderna shipment was delayed because of East Coast weather, meaning that the planned vaccinations for all of the sheriff's deputies and incarcerated people at Santa Rita Jail wouldn't begin until at least next week.
Some Alameda County employees, including Alameda County Sheriff Ahern, were vaccinated on Thursday as they were getting shots from a different shipment of Pfizer vaccine that had already arrived.
In Southern California, Orange County shut its large-scale vaccination site at Disneyland through Monday after a shipment of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine doses didn’t arrive this week, county officials said.
In Fresno County, Community Health Division Manager Joe Prado said officials were working with medical providers to try to avoid appointment cancellations after 7,800 Moderna doses failed to arrive.
In Los Angeles, city officials postponed vaccine appointments for about 12,500 people Friday after harsh weather conditions tied up a shipment of 26,000 doses in Kentucky and one with 37,000 doses in Tennessee. Once the doses arrive, patients will be automatically scheduled for a new appointment and those awaiting second doses will be given first priority, officials said.
"Our City is ready to administer COVID-19 vaccines swiftly, safely, and equitably — and as soon as doses arrive in Los Angeles, we will get them into people’s arms immediately," Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement.
California has been ramping up vaccine efforts, giving 6.7 million shots to date by opening large-scale centers at places such as Dodger Stadium and running mobile clinics to vaccinate farmworkers in rural areas.
Health officials have repeatedly said their push to inoculate more people is limited by vaccine supplies as there aren’t enough doses from the federal government to meet overwhelming demand in the state of nearly 40 million people.
The shortage has only worsened after an icy blast across much of the country snarled vaccine deliveries in states spanning from New York to Nevada. Delays are expected to continue for days.
In San Diego, a vaccine center near Petco Park closed Friday and Saturday and might stay shuttered through Monday depending on when the next shipment of vaccine doses arrives, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported. County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said the delay will have an impact but it’s beyond the county’s control.
"I think folks understand that we do not control the weather, and we do not control the arrival of vaccines," Fletcher said this week.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.