MemorialCare hospital cancels some COVID-19 vaccine appointments due winter weather

MemorialCare hospital in Long Beach canceled their COVID-19 vaccine appointments today for first-dose injections due to severe winter storms around the country that delayed shipments.

It’s not immediately clear when additional appointments would become available, but anyone with a canceled appointment would be given priority to reschedule, MemorialCare hospital spokeswoman Richele Steele said. The hospital will only conduct two second-dose clinics next week and does not open its vaccine clinics on the weekends, she said.

“We were informed earlier this week by [the California Department of Public Health] that we would not get our pending vaccine order as it was likely delayed due to ongoing adverse weather conditions throughout the country and therefore had to prioritize our second dose clinics for this week,” Steele said.

This prompted confusion among those hoping to get the shot, as Long Beach health officials said Thursday they had enough enough vaccine for appointments through at least Saturday.

Health and Human Services Director Kelly Colopy said the city was not sure how the weather would affect supply next week.

Long Beach locations for the MemorialCare Medical Group, which operates differently than the MemorialCare hospital, did not receive their vaccine shipment this week after being notified that they would not be getting their pending vaccine order. MemorialCare Medical Group only had second dose clinics scheduled this weekend, but did not have enough vaccines for them and therefore had to cancel them all, Steele said.

The messages patients received from the hospital advised them to try seeking appointments at other large-scale vaccination centers, such as Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, but that location closed down on Friday citing the inclement weather.

Other vaccination centers throughout the sate were also closed or delayed appointments. Orange County shut its vaccination site at Disneyland through Monday after a shipment of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine doses didn’t arrive this week, county officials said.

In Fresno County, Community Health Division Manager Joe Prado said officials were working with medical providers to try to avoid appointment cancellations after 7,800 Moderna doses failed to arrive.

In Los Angeles, city officials postponed vaccine appointments for about 12,500 people Friday. Once the doses arrive, patients will be automatically scheduled for a new appointment and those awaiting second doses will be given first priority, officials said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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Sebastian Echeverry is the North Long Beach reporter through the Report for America program. Philanthropic organizations pledged to cover the local donor portion of his grant-funded position with the Long Beach Post. If you want to support Sebastian's work, you can donate to his Report for America position at lbpost.com/support.
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