Storms slowed the arrival of vaccines in all 50 states, the White House announced Friday, delaying the distribution of 6 million doses just as vaccination clinics were beginning to hit a groove.
Icy conditions, road closures and power outages stalled the distribution chain, forcing officials to cancel appointments and causing ripple effects that will delay second doses weeks from now.
Maryland officials expected 130,000 first and second doses to arrive Tuesday and Wednesday, but as of Friday afternoon were still checking with providers to determine how many had arrived, said Michael Ricci, spokesman for Gov. Larry Hogan (R).
Six Flags appointments set for Friday were rescheduled for March 3 at the same time of day; second-dose appointments will be March 24, according to the governor’s office. Patients do not need to take action to keep their previously scheduled appointments.
In Virginia, multiple vaccination clinics set for the next few days were postponed, and providers will contact patients with information about when and where appointments will be rescheduled, the Virginia Department of Health said in a statement Thursday.
Vaccine and supplies needed to administer the doses produced were delayed, the statement said.
The setback comes as the greater Washington region reported 3,202 new cases Friday, as well as 25 new deaths.
Virginia reported 2,034 new cases, Maryland 1,008 and the District 160 — numbers that are below the peaks reported more than a month ago in each jurisdiction. The number of new hospitalizations also has dipped to levels not seen since late last year.
As cases are on the decline, vaccinations are picking up.
More than 1 million people have received a first dose in Virginia, or nearly 13 percent of the state’s population. In Maryland, more than 700,000 have received a first dose, and more than 100,000 people who live or work in the District have received first doses.
Erin Cox and Fenit Nirappil contributed to this report.