Winter storm playing role in Moderna COVID-19 vaccine delay to Minnesota

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 23: Dave Lacknauth, Pharm. D., Director of Pharmacy Services, Broward Health Medical Center shows off a bottle of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine during a press conference on December 23, 2020 in Fort Lauderdale, Flor ((Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) / Getty Images)

The combination of shipping delays on a national level and a high impact winter storm means some of Minnesota's shipment of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is running a little behind schedule.

In a press briefing Wednesday, Minnesota Department of Health Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann said Moderna's national distributor told the state officials they are behind on shipping vaccines. There are four providers -- three local public health agencies and one skilled nursing facility -- that will have shipments delayed.

This all is happening as much of the state, including the Twin Cities metro, is under a blizzard warning. The metro is expected to receive more than 6 inches of snow and experience strong, blowing winds.

"So we have both the situation that's playing at the national level with a bit of a delay in shipping and we have our own weather situation, so we're working with the providers to make sure we can have them available to receive the vaccine when it does come," said Ehresmann. 

MDH launched pages for vaccine data on its website. Currently, 2,999 people have been vaccinated so far, with the priority going toward frontline health care workers and those in long-term care.

As people vaccinated, the CDC is encouraging people to use the V-safe app, which is the "after vaccination health tracker." Through the app, people can record any side effects and also receive reminders to get their second dose of the vaccine.