Shipments of more than 15,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine promised to the San Joaquin Valley have been delayed this week, thanks to severe weather that has snarled shipping and distribution networks in the central and eastern parts of the country.
“All of our doses for last week were held up because of weather,” or about 6,000 doses, said Kern County Public Health Director Brynn Carrigan during a media call on Friday.
Mariposa County is also waiting for a week’s supply, about 500 doses, while Fresno and Merced are waiting on around half of their weekly supply. Kings and Madera Counties are also facing delays, though they have not shared how many doses were affected.
Because the arrival date is unknown, the consequences are still unclear. In another media call on Friday, health officials with Fresno County said they’re optimistic next week’s clinics will not be affected.
“We’ve been providing supplies out of our freezers to our local providers that didn’t have enough doses on hand, and so we were able to mitigate that for this week,” said Community Health Division Manager Joe Prado. “Going into next week, we’ll evaluate that on Monday morning and see who was able to receive their doses and see if we can mitigate that issue again.”
Other counties were not so fortunate. Kings County officials have suspended new appointments until more supplies arrive, and Mariposa County rescheduled 500 appointments until next week.
A spokesperson for Tulare County said she’s not aware of any delays affecting the county’s vaccine allocation.