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COVID-19 Vaccine Shipments Delayed By Huge Snowfall, But City’s Wednesday Appointments Are Still On

Vaccine doses from Tennessee didn't ship Monday, and only some got out Tuesday, scuttling some appointments in Chicago.

A pharmacist sorts vials of the COVID-19 vaccine at UChicago Medicine.
UChicago Medicine

CHICAGO — The huge snowstorm that socked the Midwest Monday blocked coronavirus vaccine shipments from getting out of Tennessee, scuttling vaccination appointments around Chicago Tuesday.

But the city’s top doctor assured anyone with an appointment at a city-run site on Wednesday that appointments are still on — and Tuesday’s canceled appointments will be rescheduled.

“We will be getting all of those people, whether it was for a first dose or a second dose, we expect to get them all in early next week — and all of them will be in in the next two weeks,” Dr. Alison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said Tuesday afternoon.

The city’s “points of dispensing” or “PODS,” will reopen on Wednesday and the city, after some reshuffling, will be able to honor scheduled appointments.

“We don’t want vaccine appointments to snowball where we get into a situation where we have to push them back,” she said.

If you have an appointment at a site not run by the city, Arwady cautioned people to call ahead to check on supplies and timing, noting many of those clinics rely on Moderna doses, and no Moderna doses shipped Monday or Tuesday, slashing the supply.

Pfizer vaccine doses also didn’t ship Monday, but a limited supply got out Tuesday. Arwady such much of the vaccine ships from Tennessee, which is also battling to recover from the storm.

“Rest assured, we’re working to make sure that all vaccine is being stored appropriately,” Arwady said. “There is no vaccine being wasted or that will need to be destroyed in the setting of the shipping delays.”

Dr. Alison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, speaks Tuesday.

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