Larimer County’s health department was forced to cancel about 250 COVID-19 vaccination appointments due to shipping delays of the Moderna vaccine.
Spokesperson Kori Wilford said the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment ordered more than enough doses within the appropriate time frame to meet demand, including for those seeking third booster shots.
But a delayed shipment forced the health department to cancel appointments Tuesday through Friday. Appointments will be rescheduled. The department received verification on Wednesday that its orders were in the process of being shipped this week.
While the shipping delays will impact those seeking initial vaccination or booster shots, Moderna’s vaccine has not yet received federal authorization to be administered to 5- to 11-year-olds. Pfizer’s vaccine is being distributed to that group after receiving CDC approval on Tuesday.
Several pharmacy industry trade journals reported this week that Moderna delivered 208 million COVID-19 vaccine doses worldwide in the third quarter ending Sept. 30. Those shipments required longer delivery lead times than its earlier doses, the company said, leading to export delays.
“Our supply chain became more complex, with increased deliveries” to various countries around the world, Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel reportedly said on a conference call, according to FiercePharma.com.
There was no explanation if those delays in international shipping played a role in the delays of the domestic supply.
The company has been adding capacity to ramp up production, according to a Moderna statement published in the Financial Times.
“Key variables impacting output include longer delivery lead times for international shipments and exports that may shift deliveries to early 2022, temporary impact from expansion of fill/finish capacity and ramp up of product release to market,” the company said in the statement.
Moderna said it would have fewer doses for delivery in 2021 than it had initially expected and had shifted some of these orders to delivery dates in 2022, the Times reported.
Pat Ferrier is a senior reporter covering business, health care and growth issues in Northern Colorado. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please support her work and that of other Coloradoan journalists by purchasing a subscription today.