Santa Barbara County’s COVID-19 vaccination effort is feeling the effects of severe weather events around the country this week, as a shipping delay forced the county to cancel about 800 appointments scheduled for Feb. 17, 671 appointments on Feb. 18, and 522 on Feb. 19.
“The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department has been notified by California Department of Public Health (CDPH) that its allotment of Moderna vaccine will be arriving later than anticipated this week due to severe weather conditions across the country,” a county statement said.
PHOTO COURTESY OF ALLAN HANCOCK COLLEGE
SHIPPING DELAY With severe weather events happening across the country, Santa Barbara County had to cancel some COVID-19 vaccine appointments due to shipping delays. The county’s Allan Hancock vaccine clinic, pictured here, had around 800 cancellations.
According to the statement, the 800 canceled appointments on Feb. 17 were scheduled at the county’s Santa Maria vaccination clinic, located at Allan Hancock College. The county is giving everyone who had a cancellation the chance to reschedule for next week.
“A small allotment of vaccine will still be used to vaccinate just over 400 community members at tomorrow’s clinic in Santa Maria,” the Feb. 16 announcement added. “Second dose appointments have been prioritized for those whose appointments were retained.”
The Feb. 18 canceled appointments were scheduled for the county’s vaccination site located at Dick DeWees in Lompoc, and the Feb. 19 appointments were for the Wake Campus site in Santa Barbara. These slots will automatically be rescheduled for the same time and day next week, according to a county statement.
San Luis Obispo County was not affected by the weather-related delays, according to county spokesperson Michelle Shoresman. She didn’t know why Santa Barbara County’s shipment was affected while SLO County’s wasn’t, however she said “we only schedule appointments for vaccinations that we have on-hand.”
Allan Hancock Public Information Specialist Chris McGuinness told the Sun that despite the cancellations, the college’s vaccination site is open for those who still have appointments.
“Whatever number of people do have appointments for today, essentially whatever county health has decided, we are currently taking those folks,” he said.
Whether there will be any ripple effects from the cancellations to future weeks has yet to be seen, McGuinness said.
“Every week we have sort of an after-action meeting with folks from the county, just to go over the plan for the upcoming week,” he said. “So I’m sure that’ll come up in those meetings.”
McGuinness said Hancock wants to get its students back on campus as soon as it is safe and is happy to help with the countywide vaccination effort in any way it can.
“Since we started the clinic, working with the county in terms of logistics and getting people through, obviously we take a look at every clinic we have and if we need to change operations to make things smoother, we’ve definitely done that,” McGuinness said. “But overall, we’re really happy with the partnership and we’re really happy with our efforts with the county to help with one of these clinics.” Δ