COVID vaccine shipments to Michigan delayed amid severe weather

Michigan residents asked to confirm vaccination appointments before traveling in cold

Pedestrians wear protective masks during the coronavirus pandemic as they walk along 71st Avenue as snow falls Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021, in the Queens borough of New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin Ii, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

LANSING, Mich.Coronavirus vaccine shipments to Michigan have been delayed due to winter storm conditions impacting several parts of the U.S., officials say.

On Thursday, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) said they were notified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) late Wednesday that weather conditions in Kentucky and Tennessee specifically have delayed COVID vaccine shipments.

Michigan officials are asking residents to remain patient and to confirm their vaccination appointments before heading out in the cold weather.

“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, the state’s chief medical executive. “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.”

More: 6 ways Michigan residents can sign up for COVID-19 vaccine

According to Michigan officials, the CDC says Pfizer vaccines were not shipped out at all on Feb. 15 due to inclement weather. A limited quantity of those vaccines will be shipped out this week.

Moderna COVID vaccine shipments were also affected, with no shipments coming out of the Memphis McKesson distribution center on Feb. 15, 16 or 17 due to the weather. Some Moderna vaccine shipments were also halted last week due to weather conditions.

Officials say the CDC is working with the companies to resume distribution operations as soon as possible.

It is currently unclear if any of Michigan’s Moderna vaccine orders will be shipped to the state on Thursday or Friday, Feb. 18. MDHHS officials say more information will be shared once it is known.

The news comes as several COVID-19 vaccination appointments were rescheduled across Michigan this week due to the severe weather conditions.

Despite the delays and limited vaccine supply, the state of Michigan updated its COVID vaccination strategy this week, including changes for food processing, agricultural and mortuary service workers and some people age 60 and up.

Read: Michigan updates COVID vaccine strategy -- here are the 4 major takeaways

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About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.