DENVER — Severe weather has delayed six million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines nationwide. That's three days' worth of shipments.
Despite the delays impacting all 50 states, Colorado is hopeful operations return to normal in the next 24 hours.
The state expects to receive all doses ordered for this week by Wednesday.
Due to the delay, Eagle County had to postpone its vaccine clinic originally scheduled for Feb. 20 at Battle Mountain High School.
Some individuals in the county awaiting a second dose of the vaccine were rescheduled for Feb. 27.
King Soopers is one of many providers impacted in the state and provided the following statement regarding the weather-related delays:
We are committed to ensuring our patients receive their second dose of vaccine. Unfortunately, the weather across the county this week has led to shipping delays and cancellations across the state/country in terms of COVID vaccine. We are proactively reaching out to these patients to explain the situation and reschedule their second dose appointment. They will be given priority over opening up first-dose appointments. If any of our patients have questions, they should reach out to their respective pharmacy.
Candice Fricke's 73-year-old father is scheduled to receive his second dose on Monday at the King Soopers in Highland's Ranch.
He asked the pharmacy about a possible delay Thursday.
"They didn't know if his dose would be here," Fricke said. "They didn't know when they would be able to reschedule him if it wasn't."
Late Friday, Fricke's father learned his dose was expected to arrive by Saturday, and his Monday appointment was still on.
"They couldn't guarantee it, but they said it was expected, so we're hoping that that will be the case," Fricke said.
Still, she has concerns over what a delay would mean for the efficacy of the vaccine.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the second dose can be administered four days earlier than the recommended date or up to six weeks after the first dose.
News of the extent of delayed shipments concerned 9Health Expert Dr. Payal Kohli.
"Because we are straying from the clinical trials data, but I have to say, it's not going to deter me from getting people to still keep getting their first doses. I would say whether that second dose is guaranteed to you or not, just go ahead and get that first dose because the protection from that first dose is quite good," Dr. Kohli said.
Providers in Colorado are shifting doses to cover appointments. The state asks any provider experiencing problems scheduling second doses to notify it.
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