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Local leaders remain optimistic about COVID-19 vaccination efforts despite delays in shipments due to weather

Published: Feb. 16, 2021 at 11:14 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -Department of Health agencies across North-Central Florida, as well as vaccination sites like Publix, have been forced to make changes to their COVID-19 vaccine schedule due to inclement weather across the country, causing delays in distribution. The Department of Health in Alachua County was forced to cancel a second dose clinic where 550 people were scheduled to get the Moderna vaccine.

“A pretty large clinic that we have this Thursday at Trinity United Methodist Church, we had to cancel that second dose clinic. That’s the only clinic so far that we have had to alter the schedule on,” said Paul Myers, the Administrator for the Department of Health in Alachua County.

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Myers was expecting a slight delay because of the Presidents Day holiday, but the weather is causing an even longer delay.

“The word that I am getting is that I will probably not receive that Moderna shipment until Thursday or Friday.”

RELATED STORY: COVID-19 vaccine event in Alachua County canceled

He said the Department of Health does not schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments until they have the product in hand. Myers does not expect this delay to put a significant dent in their massive vaccination effort.

“I don’t think it is a critical impact other than the inconvenience. We certainly do apologize to those 550 people that are going to have to be rescheduled.”

Congresswoman Kat Cammack of Florida’s 3rd Congressional District echoes a similar message and doesn’t believe this is going to cause a significant impact.

“It takes a while for these disruptions to really take place. There is going to be a lot of moving of federal assets around to try to respond to those that have been tremendously affected by the storm. There will be some minor hiccups, but I’m not anticipating a stop of any sort of vaccines being delivered to the state.”

RELATED STORY: Publix cancels COVID vaccine appointment scheduling on Wednesday

While they maintain a high level of focus on states severely impacted, she wants to ensure Florida is not forgotten.

“The thing that we want to make sure is that as FEMA is addressing a lot of the immediate issues say in Texas that they are deploying tremendous assets there, that we are still maintaining a level of continuity of service to other areas like Florida. So, people who are in the cue for their second doses are getting them.”

Elsewhere the department of health in Dixie, Levy, and Gilchrist counties will continue with second dose vaccinations for those who are already scheduled.

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