COVID-19 vaccination clinics scheduled for Linn County this week have been canceled due to a vaccine shortage, but a clinic set for Thursday in Benton County will proceed as planned.
Mid-valley health officials have been scrambling over the last 48 hours, trying to determine how many doses of COVID-19 vaccine were going to be available for clinics Thursday and Friday.
Severe winter weather has caused delays in vaccine deliveries from airports in Kentucky and Tennessee.
Late Wednesday, Samaritan Health announced it will be rescheduling all individuals that have an appointment for a shot at the Linn County Fair and Expo Center in Albany on Thursday between 1:30 and 6 p.m. as well as those with appointments on Friday between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.
The health care system apologized for the inconvenience.
"You do not need to contact us to reschedule your appointment as you will be receiving an updated confirmation via email or a phone call," Samaritan announced in a news release Wednesday night. "If you do not receive an email or phone call by the end of the day on Thursday, email SMGCOVIDVaccine@samhealth.org and include the following information: your full name, phone number and email address. We will follow up via email to help reschedule your appointment. If you do not have access to email, contact the Samaritan Health Services COVID vaccine scheduling line at 855-441-2311."
Linn County Public Health Director Todd Noble urged people to consult the Linn County Public Health website at www.linncountyhealth.org/ in case new information becomes available.
Benton County spokeswoman Alyssa Rash said the Health Department planned to proceed with a clinic on Thursday, depending on available doses. All appointments for that clinic are filled.
The Benton County Health Department web address is www.co.benton.or.us/health.
“We know this is frustrating for people who signed up for shots,” Linn County Commissioner Roger Nyquist said. “If there was anything we could do to get the supply here, we would do it. We appreciate people’s patience and understanding over something that is out of our control.”
Numerous states are cancelling vaccination clinics due to snow, ice and frigid temperatures.
For people who have gotten their first vaccination and are worried about whether delays will affect their second doses, officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said this week that second doses can be administered up to six weeks after the first dose and remain effective.
Contact Linn County reporter Alex Paul at 541-812-6114.