Federal shipping delays impacting thousands of vaccine appointments in Rhode Island
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – Last week’s severe weather across the country is causing serious delays for vaccine shipments.
The Rhode Island Department of Health says more than 12,000 Moderna doses that were supposed to arrive Monday in the Ocean State didn’t make it time and now officials are pushing back appointments scheduled for Tuesday.
Vaccination appointments scheduled for Tuesday in West Warwick, Cranston and East Greenwich have been pushed back.
For Cranston residents signed up to get their shots Tuesday, appointments are now rescheduled for Friday, the 26th at the same time, same place.
In West Warwick, the town was set to open a vaccination clinic at the civic center Tuesday, but it will now open on Thursday instead.
Appointments at the Swift Community Center in East Greenwich will also be re-scheduled to March 1st, same time, same day. Second doses will be administered on March 29th instead of March 23rd.
People who had appointments and are impacted will be contacted directly by clinic organizers. The RI Department of Health also says the delay could impact some clinics currently scheduled for Wednesday. They will announce that information Tuesday.
The delays are problems states are facing across the country.
“We have a backlog of about 6 million doses due to the weather,” Andy Slavitt, Senior White House Adviser for COVID Response said. “We anticipate that all the backlogged doses will be delivered within the next week.”
With all of these problems, some health officials like Brown University’s Dr. Ashish Jha are wondering if it’s time to instead delay second doses.
“I proposed this back in early-January,” Dr. Jha said. “Got a lot of pushback.”
Researchers in Israel who tracked over 7,000 hospital staff say that after just one Pfizer dose, symptomatic infections fell 85%.
Dr. Anthony Fauci says he’s not on board the idea and says the extra protection is needed now more than ever.
“Even though you can get a fair degree of protection after a single dose, it clearly is not durable. We know that,” Dr. Fauci said.