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Shipment delay of 67K vaccine doses for Oregon sends some clinic organizers scrambling

A number of vaccination clinics in the state have had to reschedule appointments because of the delay, caused by severe winter weather in Tennessee.

PORTLAND, Ore — A weather-related shipment delay has kept 67,000 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine from reaching all parts of Oregon this week, leaving vaccination clinic organizers racing to find back up supplies or rescheduling clinics to next week.

In Corvallis, 700 people gathered at Reser Stadium Thursday for a mass vaccination event that almost did not happen.

"There is a big delay in the Moderna vaccine coming out of Tennessee. It’s causing a nationwide shipping issue,” said Benton County spokeswoman Alyssa Rash.

With the shipment delayed, Benton County public health leaders realized they did not have enough doses.

“So we contacted our health system, which is Samaritan Health Services, and they worked to pull together 700 Pfizer doses for us so we didn’t have to cancel any of our appointments for today.

The neighborly gesture saved the day.

“Yes. It was really amazing and on such a short time too,” Rash said.

RELATED: Vaccine deliveries, distribution hampered by extreme weather

She said the health system was finishing up vaccinating its staff and had some shots left over.

In Hood River, the county health department’s shipment of 900 doses has not arrived. The delay forced the cancellation of a large clinic planned for Friday Feb. 19. They've moved it to Tuesday, Feb. 23, hoping the vaccine will arrive by then.

Lincoln County public health is waiting on 1,200 doses. They rescheduled clinics set for Thursday and Friday, according to spokeswoman Susan Trachsel.

“This is one of those situations where there was absolutely nothing that we could have done about it. The whole country is under this extreme weather and we are lucky here over on the coast. We didn’t see any issues really. But what happens across the country is going to affect us too,” she said.

In the Portland area, Multnomah County public health is expecting a shipment of 8,300 doses, but said the delay will not impact any scheduled clinics because they have enough vaccine doses on hand.

Also in the Portland area, 8,000 appointments for COVID-19 shots were snapped up in roughly two hours Thursday morning.

Demand is so high, the convention center is now offering appointments that are a month away.

Have a story idea or comment for Pat Dooris? Email him at pdooris@kgw.com

RELATED: Infant boy among COVID-19 deaths reported in Oregon today

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