Public health officials say extreme winter weather across the U.S. has prevented any coronavirus vaccine from being shipped to Idaho this week, potentially delaying some vaccination efforts. That has some vaccine providers scrambling to make sure people can get their second shot on time. The second shots are necessary for recipients to be fully immunized, and they are supposed to be given within a strict time frame: five weeks from the first shot for the Moderna vaccine, and about three weeks after the first shot for the Pfizer vaccine. But the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that in extreme circumstances, the booster shots can be safely delayed.
Primary Health Medical Group, Idaho’s largest independent medical group, loaned about 1,400 Moderna doses to Idaho’s largest hospital system to ensure people scheduled with St. Luke’s Health System receive their second dose this past weekend. St. Luke’s will return the same number of doses to Primary Health once the weather improves and the delayed shipment arrives, according to St. Luke’s spokeswoman Anita Kissée. Idaho’s delayed doses were believed to still be in storage at the facilities where they were made, said Idaho Department of Health and Welfare spokesman Zachary Clark, so officials don’t believe there is any risk of spoilage. State health officials have been holding daily weather meetings with the CDC in an effort to determine when the delayed vaccine will make it to Idaho, said Sarah Leeds, the manager of the Idaho Immunization Program. (AP)