Shipment delay continues to impact COVID-19 vaccinations in Santa Barbara Co.

Posted at 3:52 PM, Feb 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-18 01:06:29-05

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department says the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine doses it was expecting to receive this week continue to be delayed because of severe weather conditions across the country.

As a result, all appointments at the county vaccination site located at the Dick DeWees Community Center in Lompoc scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 18, have been canceled. All appointments at the Santa Barbara City College Wake Campus vaccination site scheduled for Friday, Feb. 18, have also been canceled.

Public Health says everyone whose appointments were canceled has been notified and will be automatically rescheduled for next week. Nearly 1,200 people are affected.

About 800 vaccination appointments were canceled in Santa Maria on Wednesday because of the shipment delay.

Nick Clay, Santa Barbara County Emergency Medical Services Agency Director, says the county typically gets its shipments for the rest of the week on Tuesdays.

"As soon as we recognized we didn't get our vaccine delivery, we immediately used the registration system for the vaccine clinics to cancel those appointments which unfortunately goes by email and not everyone is checking their email as a matter of routine, so we did have folks show up today expecting to be vaccinated and unfortunately they had to be turned away," Clay said.

He says the county hopes to be back on schedule by next week.

"We recognize the impact and the concern that folks have. Getting a vaccine has been really stressful for some individuals and they're really excited but it equally comes with some angst, especially when we look at having to do last-minute cancellations and we apologize," he said.

In the meantime, Clay says many of the county staff members assigned to the canceled vaccine clinics have been reassigned to reach out via telephone to those whose appointments were canceled.

Santa Barbara County is currently vaccinating health care workers and residents 65 years of age and older. For details on how to make an appointment, click here or call the County Call Center by dialing 2-1-1 and selecting option 4.

The San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department says it has also been notified of vaccine shipment delays which could result in some second dose appointments scheduled for next week being postponed. For information on vaccine availability in SLO County, click here.