ORLANDO, Fla. — Publix canceled Wednesday’s COVID-19 vaccine appointment scheduling event due to weather-related vaccine shipment delays.
Publix officials said the change is due to weather-related issues preventing the government’s delivery of allotted COVID-19 vaccines.
“We know how important administering this vaccine is, so we deeply regret the need to cancel Wednesday’s scheduling event,” Publix Director of Communications Maria Brous said in a statement. “Once additional vaccine is received, we will announce the next opportunity for vaccine appointment scheduling.”
Publix said appointments scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday are not impacted by the change.
The grocer doesn’t know yet when they will open up appointments again or if Friday’s scheduling event will go on as planned.
Gov. Ron DeSantis tweeted on Tuesday addressing the weather conditions that are impacting vaccine shipments to Florida.
He said the Florida Department of Health is working to provide updates to ensure the vaccine is distributed efficiently once it arrives.
Other counties across Florida are also reporting vaccine shipment delays due to weather.
The Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County tweeted that the Florida Department of Emergency Management informed officials there that there may be vaccine supply delays due to winter weather conditions across the country.
Jared Moskowitz, director of Florida’s Division of Emergency Management, said Pfizer vaccine shipments have not been impacted by the weather.
He said 132,000 first doses of the Pfizer vaccine will be delivered this week as planned.
Moskowitz acknowledged that some other already-scheduled vaccination appointments would be canceled as a result of the shipment of delay of Moderna vaccines. He said the state is reviewing the vaccine supplies of all hospitals, pharmacies and state sites that have been receiving the Moderna vaccine to determine the amount of available doses and when the facilities will run out.
“Any state site or pharmacy or hospital that uses Moderna is potentially affected by this,” Moskowitz said, adding “there are going to be appointments that are going to be rescheduled.”
People whose appointments are canceled because of the delivery delay will be given priority when the vaccine doses arrive, Moskowitz said.
“I don’t want someone to feel they are going to lose their place in line and get rescheduled to the back of the line,” he said. “That’s not what our plan is. Our plan is as soon as the shipments arrive, we will go to the people who have appointments first.”
Orange County health officials said in a statement that after the county opened its COVID-19 vaccination appointment portal on Monday all of its vaccination appointments were booked at the Orange County Convention Center through the first week of March.
Officials said the county’s 6,800 appointments filled up within 45 minutes.