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How weather-delayed vaccine shipments are impacting the Tampa Bay area

Pfizer and Moderna vaccine deliveries to Florida are being tied up as a winter storm pushes across the U.S.
Credit: AP
A man gets the coronavirus vaccine shot at an outdoor vaccination site (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

TAMPA, Fla. — With severe winter weather continuing to batter parts of the United States, vaccine shipments to Florida are being delayed.

On Wednesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis said the weather system is delaying around 9,000 doses of the state's allocated Pfizer vaccines.

“So, that’s not that disruptive,” DeSantis said. 

The main issue is that the entire Moderna vaccine shipment has yet to arrive. The governor said he was hopeful the doses will arrive by the end of the week.

But the latest update from the state shows severe weather is still keeping the doses from arriving in Florida.

While some seniors wait to see if their appointments will be impacted the governor is asking for patience.

"Just have patience on it. There's nothing we can do with the weather in other states," DeSantis added.

Here are the impacts seniors in the Tampa Bay area can expect to see, so far: 

Publix

The grocery chain said weather-related problems were preventing government deliveries of coronavirus vaccine doses. 

Appointments booked for Feb. 17-18 are not impacted at this time, but future scheduling windows for vaccines have seen cancelations. 

"Once additional vaccine is received, we will announce the next opportunity for vaccine appointment scheduling," Publix spokesperson Maria Brous wrote in a news release. 

Click here for the latest information on scheduling a vaccination appointment with Publix.

Winn Dixie

The grocery chain reports its COVID-19 vaccine shipments are being impacted by severe weather sweeping the country.

"Like other retailers, severe weather conditions are impacting shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine to our stores for further administration," the company said.

Customers will be alerted to when additional appointments become available. In the meantime, Winn-Dixie is encouraging people to keep an eye on its website for updates. 

Walmart

The company says winter storms are delaying vaccine deliveries and impacting scheduled appointments. 

Those who are impacted by the delayed shots will be contacted directly by Walmart to set a rescheduled appointment date, according to the company. 

"We will help ensure all customers scheduled can get their vaccine as quickly as possible," it wrote.

Walmart reports that while many of its locations are impacted, a few do still have some supply available. 

Seniors can keep up with the latest information on Walmart's COVID page.

Polk County

Health department officials in Polk County say the region is experiencing vaccine shipment delays as well.

More than 12,500 doses (7,000 first-dose vaccines and 5,500 second-dose vaccines) were expected to arrive before the delay, according to DOH. The county is asking people who scheduled upcoming appointments to monitor their phones or emails in the event their vaccinations have been rescheduled. 

Anyone who does not receive a call or email should expect to arrive at their appointment as planned.

"These delays are unfortunate but unavoidable," said Dr. Joy Jackson, director of the Florida Department of Health in Polk County. "We ask for patience from those who are currently scheduled and those waiting to be scheduled as we work expeditiously to reschedule and rearrange appointments."

Manatee County

The county will be contacting 5,100 seniors between Feb. 17-18 who had an appointment at its Bennett Park location to reschedule.

New appointment dates will be moved to the following week. Those with impacted appointments will receive an automated notification.

Doses being distributed at the state-run pop-up site will not be impacted as those are Pfizer vaccines. The Bennett Park location operates on a Moderna vaccine supply.

RELATED: Florida vaccine shipment delayed by winter storm sweeping the US

RELATED: VERIFY: What happens if I get the 1st dose of the COVID-19 vaccine but delay the 2nd?

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