Shipment delays lead to postponed COVID-19 vaccine appointments in Minnesota

Appointments for COVID-19 vaccination are being postponed at multiple state-run locations across Minnesota due to delay in vaccine shipments caused by the severe winter weather in the southern U.S., according to the Minnesota Department of Health.

The shipment delay from the federal government impacts the state-run community vaccination locations in St. Cloud, Rochester (Willow Creek), Fergus Falls, North Mankato, Thief River Falls and Minneapolis.

Officials are notifying those with appointments for Feb. 18 and 19 that their appointments have been postponed. MDH says those affected will be contacted about 1 to 2 days after receiving their postponement notice to reschedule their appointment.

For those who were scheduled to receive their second dose of the vaccine, they do not need to restart the vaccine series. The second dose can be delayed a little, according to MDH.

The shipment delay may also impact other health providers. 

During Thursday’s media briefing MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm said the winter storms are having a "tremendous" impact and foreshadowed "confusion" the rest of the week about how many doses would actually arrive.

"At this moment, it's very unclear how much we're going to get and when," she said.

MDH is waiting for shipment information from the CDC and expects an update later Thursday afternoon.