Severe weather causes delays in vaccine distribution throughout region

SPOKANE, Wash. — More than 1.2 million doses of the vaccine have now been given out in Washington. This comes as powerful winter storms ripped through the country last week and delayed the vaccines to our area. These storms haven’t cause either Washington or Idaho to fall too far behind in getting the shots into peoples arms.

The Spokane Arena will be back open on Tuesday morning, giving people their second doses of the Moderna vaccine. Mixed in with them will be those who had appointments Friday through Monday, which had to be rescheduled due to delays from the storm conditions.

Last week, the winter storms caused all four mass vaccinations sites in the state to close down. At that time, they were unable to get their allotment of doses, but today there was some good news.

“It sounds like people have gotten delivery notices, vaccine is en route, hopefully will arrive in the next day or two,” said Cassie Sauer, CEO of the Washington State Hospital Association. “There’s essentially going to be a double delivery of last weeks vaccine doses and this coming weeks vaccine doses.”

Across the border in Idaho, they weren’t immune to these delays either. So far, 20,000 people have received at least one dose of the vaccine in Kootenai County. On Monday, Heritage Health and the Kroc Center began a partnership to open a new vaccine clinic in Coeur d’Alene.

RELATED: Coeur d’Alene Kroc Center to become vaccine site for people age 65+

“We needed some space to do the vaccine one a larger scale. We just don’t have the space to have 100 people waiting at the clinic,” said Heritage Health CEO Mike Baker.

Baker says they got lucky with their shipments of the vaccine and didn’t have to reschedule any appointment today.

“We have enough supply to get through the next couple days of our vaccine, and so we anticipate we’ll be able to keep rolling forward,” said Baker.

On Monday, there were around 100 patients scheduled to receive their vaccine—the clinic will receive 400 doses each week. This clinic is on top of the shipments received by Panhandle Health and Kootenai Health, with a mass vaccination site still open at the fairgrounds.

“We really don’t have any waits on the vaccine. We schedule a few more everyday knowing that some people don’t show up for appointments. So we’ve had great luck in getting those vaccines into arms as soon as possible,” said Baker.

Officials with Kootenai Health announced they have enough supply to avoid cancelling appointments. We also reached out to Panhandle Health to see if they had to reschedule any appointments this week, but have not heard back.