Florida waiting to receive 209,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine as snowstorm causes shipment delays

Governor expects doses to arrive before weekend

Here's the latest on the coronavirus vaccine and the COVID-19 UK variant in Florida.
Here's the latest on the coronavirus vaccine and the COVID-19 UK variant in Florida.

MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. – Despite the brutal icy conditions the U.S. is facing, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Florida will get previously delayed shipments of coronavirus vaccine before the weekend.

DeSantis made the remarks Wednesday morning before introducing Manatee County’s new vaccination pod at Lakewood Ranch sports complex, saying 9,000 doses of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine will arrive soon.

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“We did get a vast, vast majority of our Pfizer shipments this week,” he said. “We received about 136,000 doses, we’ve got about 9,000 doses that are left. We’re going to get those tonight or tomorrow morning. So that’s not that disruptive.”

The governor is pointing to the harsh and deadly winter snowstorm spanning coast to coast as the cause for delay. As much of the country grapples with record-cold temperatures, the governor is asking people to keep perspective.

“It’s not a great day here in Florida weather-wise but it’s a heck of a lot worse for people in other parts of the country and so vaccine shipments are being delayed,” DeSantis said.

Florida’s Division of Emergency Management confirmed Tuesday that weather conditions across the U.S. are also impacting the state’s shipment of Moderna vaccine. Typically, the state receives its shipments of Moderna on Tuesday or Wednesday, but 200,000 doses have yet made their way to Florida.

The governor provided an update on the delay Wednesday, saying logistics are still being worked out.

“We think it’s going to come hopefully by Thursday or Friday,” he said.

As the state makes plans to quickly distribute the 209,000 doses of the delayed vaccine, DeSantis said Florida can only plan to receive them and not necessarily how they make it to the state.

“I think some of this stuff is in places where they ship from. So it’s a combination of the weather, the ice, and then obviously the different logistics that result from that,” he said.

He stressed these delays could cause appointments to be pushed back, especially for those who were scheduled to receive a shot of Moderna’s vaccine.

“We are going to get the Moderna but it is not here when it would normally be here,” he said. “Just have patience, there’s nothing we can do about the weather in other states.”