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Vaccine delays continue to persist for rural counties

COVID-19 vaccine
Posted at 9:50 PM, Feb 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-19 23:50:08-05

Four thousand appointments postponed and counting. The delay in the shipment of the Moderna vaccine due to winter storms has put Yavapai County Health officials behind the eight ball Friday.

“They’ve canceled all appointments for today and they have appointments for Saturday and Sunday that they were still hoping some vaccine would arrive,” said Terri Farneti, spokesperson for Yavapai County.

Unfortunately for vaccine sites in Prescott, Prescott Valley and Cottonwood, that doesn’t look to be happening.

“Now they’re talking that they may lump them together with this week's order and they’ll get here Tuesday or Wednesday of next week,” said Farneti.

Health partners said they're now scrambling to reschedule those appointments.

“They’re doing most of it by email, text and phone calls,” said Farneti.

State health officials addressed the delays Friday afternoon.

Health Director Dr. Cara Christ says the lack of the Moderna vaccine is having the biggest impact due to its primary use in rural counties. A vaccination event in Coconino County by Encompass Health for Monday is now canceled as well.

“I haven’t heard that anybody's gotten a notification of a weekend shipment so we are thinking they’re going to arrive next week,” said Dr. Christ.

Pfizer vaccine shipments are arriving at a number of health partners on Friday. However, 89,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine remain left behind. Smaller counties counting on that supply are now turning to patience.

“The vaccine will get here and people will be able to have their appointments, it's just been at this point having to cancel and re-book and all that,” said Farneti.