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How the snowstorm will impact people trying to get COVID-19 vaccines

Expected 8-12 inches of snow could make getting to appointments difficult.
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(File)(Hawaii News Now)
Updated: Feb. 15, 2021 at 4:46 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Northeast Ohio is in position to get pounded with snow Monday night into Tuesday morning, which could impact people trying to get their COVID-19 vaccines.

With almost 1,000 different locations on the Ohio Department of Health’s vaccine distribution lists, there will be multiple ways pharmacies, clinics and hospitals will be handling snow procedures.

Below is a list of hospitals and pharmacies plans leading up to the storm.

University Hospitals (UH) has already said they will be moving forward.

“Our clinics will be open today and all week for both dose 1 and dose 2 Phase 1B vaccines,” a statement from UH said. “Our facilities and snow removal teams will be prepared with salt to keep the lots and sidewalks as clear as possible and we added heaters at the entrance. We will be prepared if patients are a bit late due to weather and we have also increased staffing in both the clinic as well as the call center. We want to assure we have plenty of resources to answer phones and help any patients who choose to reschedule.”

Will the snowstorm impact people trying to get COVID-19 vaccines?

Will the snowstorm impact people trying to get COVID-19 vaccines? https://bit.ly/2NurdgQ

Posted by Cleveland 19 News on Monday, February 15, 2021

“The safety our of patients is our top concern. If patients are unable to make their vaccine appointments tomorrow due to the weather conditions – we will accommodate them by automatically rescheduling their appointments. We are reaching out to those who are scheduled to let them know this. We encourage everyone to stay safe and use caution if they are traveling.”

“We are not planning to cancel or reschedule vaccination clinic. Because of tomorrow’s weather, the best course of action is for patients to call and let staff know if they can’t make it. We will then work with people who can’t make their appointment.”

“Kroger pharmacies do not thaw doses until the day of based on appointments. If there is a weather emergency that restricts travel, Kroger pharmacy teams will adjust as needed by contacting patients, rescheduling if possible, and managing doses to ensure no waste. Plans will vary by store and region, depending on the weather.”

“Rite Aid has an inclement weather plan in place that has previously been used. The affected store(s) can reach out to customers and if customers are not able to come in, the store can offer appointments the next Sunday or Monday. Rite Aid keeps the Moderna product frozen until the day of appointment. At which time it is moved to the refrigerator and is still viable until the vial is punctured.”

“Giant Eagle Pharmacies are prepared to move forward with all COVID-19 vaccine appointments as scheduled, regardless of weather conditions,” according to Giant Eagle spokeswoman Jannah Jablonowski. “If a patient needs to cancel their appointment for any reason, we ask that they do so in advance so that the appointment slot can be made available for another patient to schedule. If someone does not show up for their scheduled appointment or must cancel at the last minute, our pharmacists have processes in place to connect those doses to eligible patients who qualify under the criteria put in place by the state. Because supply is limited, we are not able to guarantee vaccine availability beyond the original appointment date.”

“The drive thru COVID Vaccination clinic is postponed until Wed Feb 17th due to inclement weather. If you know someone scheduled please let them know.”

As we find out how other locations will be handling the weather and vaccine distribution we will be adding to this story.

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