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Winter storms causing delays in vaccine shipments

February 18, 2021
Contact: Lynn Sutfin, 517-241-2112

LANSING, MICH. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has been notified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that due to ongoing winter storm conditions in Kentucky and Tennessee, vaccine shipments this week continue to be delayed.

“We ask that Michiganders confirm their appointments prior to traveling and to have patience as providers seek to reschedule any appointments,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health.

“Unfortunately, distribution of the vaccine in this circumstance is simply out of our control. Vaccine providers across the state are working hard to get 70% of Michiganders age 16 and older vaccinated with the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine as quickly as possible.”

Late yesterday, CDC provided an update about COVID-19 vaccine shipments in light of the ongoing winter storm conditions this week. This challenge is affecting vaccine shipments across the country.

  • Pfizer vaccine: Pfizer vaccines were not shipped out on Monday, Feb. 15 due to weather conditions. A limited number of Pfizer vaccine shipments are being processed this week.
  • Moderna vaccine: Severe weather impacted the McKesson distribution center in Memphis. Every aspect of distribution was impacted including air and ground transport, as well as work force, including personnel for packing and sorting vaccine. Moderna vaccines were not shipped on Monday, Feb. 15, Tuesday, Feb. 16 or Wednesday, Feb. 17 due to adverse weather conditions. CDC is working with McKesson and their shipping partners to resume operations as soon as the weather abates. They anticipate a significant back log of orders for distribution once operations resume and every effort will be made to catch up as soon as possible while safely delivering the vaccines.
    • Last week, a number of Moderna vaccine shipments were pulled back to the McKesson depots because they were unable to be delivered due to weather conditions. A small number of these shipments were repacked and sent out on Sunday for delivery on Monday, Feb. 15. For the remaining shipments, McKesson will be rescheduling vaccine deliveries once weather conditions allow shipments to resume.

At this time, MDHHS does not know if McKesson will ship any Moderna orders today for delivery tomorrow. The department will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as more information is learned.

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