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Weather disrupts vaccine delivery

Deliveries to most vaccine providers in the state were delayed by the bad weather this week, but the state still hopes to work out its recently discovered snafu with second doses of the Moderna vaccine within the three weeks initially planned for that effort, Department of Health senior adviser Lindsey Mauldin said in a virtual news conference Thursday.

Thursday’s snowstorm dropped a few inches in the Altoona area, but, according to state meteorologist Jeff Jumper, about a foot of snow fell in parts of southeastern Pennsylvania.

The DoH is working with providers and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency so everyone can understand what dose delivery delays have occurred and what additional delays may occur given more bad weather expected next week, according to Mauldin.

There may be snow Monday and a wintry mix Feb. 26, according to AccuWeather.

Because of the vaccine distribution delays, people who have scheduled appointments should stay in touch with their providers to find whether they may need to reschedule, Mauldin said.

The snafu occurred when an undisclosed number of providers using Moderna administered shots intended for second doses as first doses instead, which not only created an immediate second-dose shortfall, but created a new group of people needing second doses within several weeks.

The department hopes to get things straightened out by working with providers to reschedule some second dose appointments for up to two weeks later, by using some first doses for second-dose appointments and by rescheduling some first dose appointments.

Delaying second-dose appointments by two weeks still leaves them within the 42-day maximum called for in Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance.

The department has hired the Boston Consulting Group to help with the second-dose allocation issues, according to Mauldin and information provided Wednesday by the department.

Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler is at 814-949-7038.

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