Moderna vaccines delayed by snowstorm may not arrive until next week, Florida governor says

New COVID-19 vaccination site opens in Pinellas Park

DeSantis calls for patience amid delay in COVID-19 vaccine shipments
DeSantis calls for patience amid delay in COVID-19 vaccine shipments

PINELLAS PARK, Fla. – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis held a news conference Thursday morning to announce a new vaccination site in Pinellas Park, while also discussing hundreds of thousands of vaccines delayed due to deadly winter storms hitting other parts of the U.S.

The site will be open for three days and will provide 3000 COVID-19 vaccines to senior citizens.

“We are getting more vaccines. We’re at 325,000 last week and we’re gonna have a net increase of 41,000 for the next week,” DeSantis said.

The governor is expecting a shipment of 5,000 additional doses to be delivered to Pinellas County next week.

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On Wednesday, the governor announced Florida was still waiting to receive more than 200,000 Moderna doses of the COVID-19 vaccine after a massive snowstorm that hit other parts of the U.S. forced their delivery to be delayed.

The delayed deliveries have forced some vaccine distributors to temporarily call off some vaccination appointments this week but DeSantis did say the doses were expected to arrive before the weekend.

During the news conference on Thursday, DeSantis said he did not believe that the doses had shipped yet and it could be after the weekend before they arrive in the Sunshine State.

“Keep in mind I mentioned this yesterday, the Moderna still has not shipped for this week. So, normally those Moderna would be done today, but because of the storms that we’re seeing throughout the country, it’s basically sitting in the FedEx warehouse. I don’t even think they can get into it because of everything,” DeSantis said. “So that’s going to happen, whether that’s tomorrow, or the weekend, some say (it) could even last till Monday. So what I’d say, if you had an appointment, and the Moderna hasn’t come, just hang in there. The doses are going to get here, but you have some extreme weather that’s keeping those doses out of Florida.”

Despite the delays, 2,487,055 people had received at least the first dose of a coronavirus vaccine as of Wednesday afternoon, according to the Florida Department of Health’s daily vaccine report. The FDOH also reported Wednesday that 1,181,166 people had received their second shot.

This story will be updated with more information as it becomes available.

The news conference will be streamed live at the top of the story when it begins.

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