Delivery of delayed vaccine shipments expected next week

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The federal government announced Friday it would attempt to get all delayed COVID-19 vaccines to their designated locations by the end of next week, and San Diego County public health officials said they were ready to administer those doses as soon as they arrive as 812 new infections and 34 deaths were reported in the county.

“We have the mechanism in place to be able to administer all the doses we get in San Diego County,” said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officer. “In the meantime, we’re asking San Diegans to be patient. As the delayed doses arrive, we will administer them to everyone who has an appointment and release new time slots.”

As many as several hundred vaccination appointments scheduled for Friday and Saturday at the county’s largest vaccine distribution site — Petco Park — were postponed until some time next week, owing to delayed vaccine shipments from the Midwest and East Coast.

The Petco Park vaccine super station is tentatively scheduled to open Sunday, but UC San Diego Health — which partnered with the county to run the site in downtown San Diego — said delays could potentially run through Monday.

People with appointments this weekend should check their emails for updates, UCSD Health advised. The county’s Health and Human Services Agency said residents who were scheduled for their second dose of the vaccine will also be rescheduled.

Currently, all county COVID-19 vaccination points of dispensing and the North County Super Station in San Marcos are only offering appointments for second doses. Appointments for first doses at these sites are being rescheduled into next week.

The Sharp HealthCare vaccination super station sites at Chula Vista Center and Grossmont Center are still offering first and second dose appointments with Pfizer vaccine.

The Petco Park site delayed appointments a week ago, when a Moderna vaccine shipment was delayed on Feb. 12. The site reopened Wednesday, but vaccine appointments were already disrupted.

The massive winter storm gripping much of the nation has frozen supply lines for the vaccines. Moderna produces the bulk of its vaccines in Massachusetts, while Pfizer makes its in Michigan. Sub-freezing temperatures across much of the United States have delayed shipments of the vials around the country.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised that people can wait up to 42 days between doses and still achieve maximum immunity.

As of Friday, of the 779,000 vaccine doses the county has received, 705,985 have been administered, more than 5,000 are awaiting processing and 67,000 are yet to be administered. A total of 18.2% of San Diego County’s population over the age of 16 have received at least one dose and 6.1% are fully inoculated.

The county has five vaccine super stations and 15 smaller neighborhood distribution sites.

Friday’s data increased the number of COVID-19 infections to 255,802 since the pandemic began, while the death toll increased to 3,169.

In Friday’s data, 19 men and 15 women died between Dec. 25. and Feb. 18.

It is also the eighth consecutive day with cases below 1,000 and the 11th of the past 12 days to fall beneath that metric.

Of 14,822 tests reported Friday, 5% returned positive, decreasing the 14-day rolling average of positive tests to 5.1% from Thursday’s 5.2%.

Four community outbreaks were reported Friday, two in business settings, one in a daycare/preschool/childcare setting and one in a retail setting. There have been 30 in the past week.

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