Vaccine appointments canceled after Winnebago County shipment delayed until next week

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Those expecting a second dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine this week will have to wait a little longer as the Winnebago County Health Department announced Tuesday that the shipment has been delayed.

According to the health department, “all three hospitals are awaiting further information on vaccine availability and will contact patients to reschedule their second dose when vaccines become available to them.”

COVID-19 Moderna vaccines that were scheduled to arrive this week for Mercyhealth, OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony Medical Center, and SwedishAmerican in Winnebago County have been delayed. There is a limited number of vaccines available for the entire state. Each county is limited in the amount they can get and the State is limited in the amount that it receives. The delay in shipments will affect the roughly 6,700 patients in Winnebago County who were originally scheduled for their second dose this week. As a result, all three hospitals are awaiting further information on vaccine availability and will contact patients to reschedule their second dose when vaccines become available to them.

Winnebago County Health Department

The delay will affect roughly 6,700 patients who were scheduled to receive their second dose this week.

Ron Winkler is one of the thousands of residents affected by this.

“I was supposed to get my shot tomorrow morning at 8 o’clock,” said Winkler. “They said they didn’t get their allotment for my shot tomorrow and they’d have to reschedule the appointment.”

His appointment did get rescheduled but now he has to wait two more weeks.

“Which would put it at 45 days and the lady said they could do that second shot up to 45 days after the first one,” he explained.

“We want to assure patients that receiving the second dose of the Moderna vaccine or the Pfizer vaccine up to the six-week mark of your first dose is perfectly ok,” said Dr. Stephen Bartlett, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony Medical Center. “It does not make the vaccine less effective and you do not need to repeat your initial dose.”

“Just getting the first dose that helps with COVID. I’ve already got the first dose and I’ve had it 28 days now, so for weeks and I’ll get the second dose in another two weeks and then I should be good to go,” Winkler added.

Officials sent out another update Tuesday evening, announcing next week’s arrival of 9,000 vaccines that will be used for the canceled appointments.

“I am excited to announce that Winnebago County is expected to receive a shipment of more than 9,000 Moderna vaccines by early next week, which will allow all three hospitals to fulfil the second doses that were originally scheduled for this week,” says Dr. Sandra Martell.

“My team and Dr. Martell’s team have been advocating at the highest level, including the Governor’s Office and IDPH, for our community’s equitable allotment of vaccine,” says Mayor Tom McNamara. “Supply, which comes from the state, continues to be limited and does not meet the demand. However, I am optimistic that more supply will be available in the coming weeks.”

IDPH also issued a statement on Tuesday:

IDPH has looked into second dose challenges hospital providers are grappling with in Winnebago County. It appears that providers did not fully align first dose allocations with second dose allocations. IDPH is working with the Winnebago County Health Department to ensure the second doses their partners need are ordered and arrive by Thursday, so patients can get their second shot. IDPH and the Winnebago County Health Department are also working to further educate community partners on the correct process to ensure the partners are allocating and using doses appropriately.

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