Severe winter weather across the country may impact upcoming deliveries of COVID vaccine to CT


HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — As Connecticut continues to open up new mass COVID-19 vaccination centers, will there be enough vaccine to go around? The severe winter weather is hampering efforts to get the vaccine around the country and to us here in Connecticut.

So Moderna is distributed out of a warehouse in the south called McKesson, they got hammered with snow and power outages in the last week or so, and Pfizer is out of Michigan which also was hit with severe weather.

So how is Connecticut doing on its vaccine supply, epecially on those required second doses?

Governor Ned Lamont said Thursday, “Almost all of our doses for this week have arrived, so we don’t anticipate any big delays, there may be some small delays.”

This week, the vaccines came in early before the storm. But next week is questionable because crews are still clearing roads and rehanging power lines across the country trying to get the infrastructure back on track as soon as possible so more vaccine deliveries can start rolling.

“We are going to be watching it very closely, but so far no indications of delays for next week,” said Josh Geballe, Chief Operations Officer for Connecticut.

The governor’s office said the problem isn’t with the tractor-trailers not being able to get through the snow – that’s part of it – but the main bottleneck is at the warehouse down south. There are just not enough people to get it done.

Thursday on a New England-wide conference call, Massachusetts Governor Baker said he’s sending the National Guard down south to get the vaccine shipment. But Connecticut didn’t seem to think that was going to work.

“We are not sure that that is going to do the trick,” Geballe said. “There is a lot of work that needs to be done in the McKesson facility, pick and pack the deliveries and get them on pallets and get them to the airport and so forth.”

Geballe said the state does have a little wiggle room as we have a strong network set up to shift vaccines from one location to another to compensate for a delayed shipment, but if the delays drag out.

“We will cross that bridge when we get there,” GeBalle said. “If we don’t get doses we don’t get doses, and we will have to work with providers to try and reschedule, as many other states around the country are doing right now.”

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