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Supply Shortage Forces Allegheny County Health Dept. To Delay Some Vaccine Appointments

Katie Blackley
90.5 WESA
Some second dose appointments will be delayed at the county's Monroeville clinic in a special section at the Hilton Hotel.

The Allegheny County Health Department announced Friday that it does not have enough Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for second dose appointments that would have been scheduled starting Feb. 24.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health announced earlier this week thatinclement weather caused a delay in vaccine shipments. The issue was compounded when the department learned that some providershad inadvertently administered second doses of Moderna as first doses – creating ashortage of the vaccine.

The county health department said it will be able to hold second dose appointments at its Monroeville clinic for those due Feb. 22 and Feb. 23. Individuals should have received an email with a scheduling link if they’re due for their second shot either of those dates. If a person is due for their second shot Monday or Tuesday but hasn’t received an email, they can call 2-1-1 to make their appointment.

Individuals who were due back for their second shots with the county health department between Feb. 24 and Feb 27 can expect a scheduling email once adequate vaccine supply is received by the county.

In a statement, the county said it did not receive a shipment of vaccines it had expected earlier this week. It also did not receive word today about next week’s shipments.

Additional clinics for other Phase 1A healthcare and frontline staff that were scheduled for next week will be rescheduled. Those impacted should expect direct communication from the county.

“The supply of vaccine in Pennsylvania faces two challenges at this moment, a string of bad weather delaying shipment and a shortage for second doses,” Allegheny County Health Department Director Dr. Debra Bogen said Friday. “The county Health Department is committed to being a good partner and part of the solution as the state responds to these challenges.”

The county says it will be able to remain within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s timeframe for a second dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. The booster shot may be administered up to 42 days after the first dose

The plan announced by the county Friday affects only individuals who received their vaccines through the county health department and not individuals who received their vaccines through other providers.

Kiley Koscinski covers city government, policy and how Pittsburghers engage with city services. She also works as a fill-in host for All Things Considered. Kiley has previously served as a producer on The Confluence and Morning Edition.