The historic cold and winter storms in central and southern U.S. is impacting COVID vaccine distribution to the extent that appointments at six Minnesota locations are being postponed.
The State of Minnesota said it has had to postpone appointments and two community vaccination locations on Thursday, and a further four locations on Friday.
The affected locations are in St. Cloud, Rochester Willow Creek (both Thursday and Friday postponements), Minneapolis, Fergus Falls, North Mankato, and Thief River Falls.
Anyone with an appointment at these locations are being contacted to inform them it's postponed, and they'll hear back in 24-48 hours about rescheduling "as soon as possible."
MDH told Bring Me The News that if some of those affected are expecting their second dose, "it is OK if the second dose is a little delayed" and they don't need to restart the vaccine series.
"The state is diligently monitoring the situation and will provide these doses to Minnesotans as soon as possible once the federal government confirms when vaccine will arrive in Minnesota," a spokesman added.
It comes as a deep freeze continues to impact numerous states including Oklahoma and Texas, causing power cuts, rolling blackouts, and gas shortages across large regions of the country.
The Minnesota Department of Health says that one of the casualties of the deadly winter storms has been delaying the federal government's shipping of part of this week's COVID-19 delivery to Minnesota.
The department says it's in "close contact" with the CDC, but warned that "additional shipping delays could cause significant operational challenges for both the state sites and for other providers."
Minnesota on Thursday launched a new service called the Vaccine Connector, to which people can sign up to be informed when they qualify for a vaccine, and when one is available near them
Earlier this week, St. Louis County announced it had been forced to cancel COVID vaccine appointments due to supply issues caused by the winter storms.