PHOENIX — The Arizona Department of Health Services on Wednesday released new details about weather-related delays in COVID-19 vaccine shipments.
All of the state’s Pfizer and Moderna vaccine shipments were delayed this week, but the impact on appointments for the next few days will vary by location, the department said in a press release.
All Maricopa and Pima county sites that use the Pfizer vaccine have enough doses to maintain operations, but the situation remains fluid in areas where the Moderna vaccine is used, according to the release.
Residents with appointments in rural counties should check with local authorities about availability, according to the release.
A top official at Banner Health said the state’s largest hospital system said had enough supply for its vaccine disbursal in Maricopa, Pinal and Coconino counties to cover this week’s appointments.
However, Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Marjorie Bessell said Banner is “slightly short” in Gila County and facing potentially larger issues in Pima County. She said Banner has enough vaccine for Wednesday and Thursdays appointments in Pima County, but Friday-Sunday vaccinations “are at risk if we do not get supply.”
Bessell said the shipment of supplies needed to give the shots, such as syringes and needles, has also been delayed by the winter storms.
The state was allocated 176,600 doses for delivery this week, according to the release: 85,800 Pfizer vaccines and 90,800 Moderna vaccines. According to the ADHS COVID-19 dashboard, 1,291,053 of the state’s 1,395,300 allocated doses had been administered as of Wednesday morning.
Shipments of both kinds scheduled to go out Monday weren’t sent because of winter storms across much of the country, according to the release. Some shipments sent over the weekend are now expected to arrive late.
The estimated arrival times varies by location.
On Tuesday evening, the state health department first revealed that shipments were delayed because of the weather and that some local health departments had to cancel appointments.
Here was Tuesday’s complete statement:
The extreme winter weather affecting much of the rest of the country has delayed this week’s delivery of COVID-19 vaccine doses to Arizona. Because of these weather-related delays, some local health departments have told ADHS they have had to cancel appointments in the next two days. At this time, it appears there are enough Pfizer doses available for state vaccination sites and other sites administering Pfizer to maintain operations without interruption.
Here is Wednesday’s complete follow-up press release:
All of Arizona’s allocations of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are delayed due to the extreme weather affecting much of the rest of the country, but that doesn’t mean that Arizonans expecting vaccination in the next few days will necessarily see their appointments canceled.
All sites in Maricopa and Pima counties administering the Pfizer vaccine currently have enough supply to maintain operations.
For other sites, the situation is fluid and will depend on each provider’s current supply. ADHS is in close contact with our federal and local partners to monitor the situation, which continues to develop.
At this time, there are enough Pfizer doses available for all sites, including state PODs in Maricopa County, to maintain operations without interruption. These PODs handle a large proportion of vaccination in Maricopa and Pima counties, which are positioned to work with the rigorous storage requirements and large lot sizes of the Pfizer vaccine.
Rural counties and some smaller providers in Pima and Maricopa counties administer the Moderna vaccine, which has less-stringent storage requirements.
The federal government has allocated to Arizona 85,800 Pfizer doses and 90,800 Moderna doses for a total allocation of 176,600 doses expected to be delivered across the state this week.
Counties are the local allocators for vaccine across Arizona, and specific information on any impacts on appointments in each local jurisdiction would come from the individual counties. For those living in rural Arizona or having appointments for first or second doses at providers administering the Moderna vaccine, we recommend checking with your county health department or the provider in question.
Because shipping notifications go directly to the provider sites, ADHS doesn’t have specific information on when each provider can expect to receive this week’s allocated vaccine doses. Our federal partners have advised that Moderna vaccines weren’t shipped Monday due to the weather, though Moderna shipments from the weekend intended for Monday delivery are expected to be delivered today. Pfizer vaccine doses also weren’t shipped Monday, though federal partners have advised that shipments sent over the weekend for Monday or Tuesday delivery should still be delivered.
For more information about statewide vaccine availability, the ADHS website has a vaccine-finder page with a map of locations and information about registration.