DeKalb County sees delays in COVID-19 vaccines after winter storm

Appointments for the second dose of the Moderna vaccine in DeKalb County are being rescheduled once again.

Inclement weather delayed vaccinations last week and the DeKalb County Board of Health said it cannot control when the next shipment of the vaccine will arrive.

The county's top doctor said she expected a coronavirus vaccine shipment Saturday, but it never arrived, forcing appointment cancellations. 

Doses were set to arrive Monday, but again without any luck.

"Every day that we don't get the vaccine backs us up in terms of catch-up, so Monday, if we had gotten vaccine over the weekend, we still would've had to catch up the three to four days from last week," Dr. Sandra Elizabeth Ford, the District Health Director for DeKalb County said. "It's just adding on and we'd have the current folks that're due for this week."

County health officials said they are flooded with calls about a vaccine that just isn't in their arsenal because of last week's unprecedented winter storm.

"Pfizer comes from Michigan and I believe Moderna comes from Tennessee. Tennessee over the weekend was 11 degrees, so if roads are shut down, nothing moves," Dr. Ford said.

As of Monday, the county still had the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine available, but it has been out of Moderna for days.

"I wanted to cry this morning when they said there was no vaccine," Dr. Ford said.

Impacted patients were notified via email or phone.

"We've been doing fairly well getting information out there but there is a small population of folks who did not put an email or phone number," she said.

She said she knows many are frustrated and concerned about the timing of that second dose.

"Per CDC guidelines, you can stretch that second dose out to six weeks," she said.

Dr. Ford said at the end of the day, she's anxiously awaiting a delivery, just as many are.

"We feel the frustration, but it is truly out of our hands," she said.

Anyone eligible for the vaccine and would like to receive the Pfizer shot, Dr. Ford said those doses are still available, as of Monday afternoon. Keep in mind, the number of available vaccines changes daily.

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