FedEx scrambles to keep COVID-19 vaccine shipments on track amid weather delays

FedEx is shifting gears to assist get deliveries of the COVID-19 vaccine across the U.S. again on track after harsh winter weather slowed shipments. 

The company on Friday stated it’s going to route vaccine doses via its second-largest hub in Indianapolis, Indiana, in addition to regional hubs in Oakland, California, and Newark, New Jersey, to make up for weather-related disruptions at its most important hub in Memphis, Tennessee. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated earlier this week that the winter storm that affected a big swath of the U.S. additionally hampered deliveries of the COVID-19 vaccine. 

As a results of weather delays at UPS and FedEx, vaccination provides have been held up, inflicting amenities administering the vaccine to cancel appointments and people’ vaccination appointments to shift. The winter storm has already shut down exercise at a few main vaccine-distribution hubs that provide a number of states. In some circumstances, COVID-19 vaccination websites have closed as a result of they did not obtain their provide of the vaccine.

Vaccine shipments on the FedEx facility in Memphis, Tennessee, and the united statesfacility in Louisville, Kentucky, have been interrupted, the CDC stated in an announcement to CBS MoneyWatch.

FedEx acknowledged the storm’s impact on its capacity to full deliveries in a lot of the U.S. A spokesperson for the supply company stated it’s prioritizing the cargo of vaccines over different items. 

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“We have contingency planning in place related to the movement of vaccines, which have priority status within our network, and are working directly with our customers to help ensure their safe transport and delivery,” a spokesperson stated in an announcement to CBS MoneyWatch. 

A UPS spokesperson stated the company remains to be making pickups and deliveries, weather allowing. Critical well being care packages will “be delivered as soon as roads are safely passable and businesses are open to receive them,” the company stated in an announcement. 

Georgia well being officers stated winter weather impeded anticipated deliveries of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, noting that well being care suppliers would have to reschedule sufferers’ vaccination appointments. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has additionally pointed to unhealthy weather in different components of the nation for delays this week in vaccine shipments to town. 

Winter storms delay COVID-19 vaccinations


Some specialists fear that further hurdles to getting a shot within the arm would possibly discourage Americans from getting inoculated altogether.

“When appointments get cancelled, there is even more frustration among people who have to wait longer for another appointment,” stated Columbia Business School professor Awi Federgruen, a provide chain knowledgeable. “Already the percentage of the population that wants the vaccine is not at the level we’d like it to be at. We don’t need things to further frustrate people and give them reasons to not participate.”

The White House stated the U.S. is now vaccinating some 1.7 million individuals per day, up from lower than 1 million a month in the past. 

“We certainly don’t need the delays and further chaos that the storm is creating,” Federgruen stated. “But hopefully it won’t be by more than a week or so.”

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