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What the shortage of Moderna doses means

After the Department of Health released information about the Moderna shortage, Lehigh Valley Health Network and St. Luke’s University Health network were quick to reassure people Feb. 17 they will get their second dose.

“While this does temporarily impact some people scheduled for this week, we are rescheduling appointments for those who are impacted. Rest assured you will receive your booster shots in accordance with FDA guidance and timing,” St. Luke’s said in a statement.

“We follow the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s guidelines for vaccinations and continue to vaccinate about 3,000 people per day. We have far more public requests for vaccines than we have vaccines to give. We could vaccinate more people if we were given more vaccines. We consistently request increases in vaccine deliveries from the PA Department of Health.”

Lehigh Valley Health Network announced it would cancel and reschedule COVID-19 vaccination appointments for people scheduled to receive their second dose of the Moderna vaccine Feb. 19.

“About 1,500 appointments will have to be rescheduled. As has been the case for the past nine weeks, appointments were scheduled based on the supply of vaccine LVHN anticipated to receive from the Pennsylvania Department of Health. However, LVHN received notification from the Department of Health that the health network will not be receiving the amount of vaccine anticipated.

“LVHN has administered more than 80,000 vaccinations correctly and has never administered second doses as first doses,” the health network said.

“Like the people of our community, we are frustrated that vaccine supply continues to be low, and we sympathize with those who were eager to get vaccinated but now have to wait a little longer,” LVHN President and Chief Executive Officer Brian A. Nester said.

“At LVHN, we have the ability to vaccinate 30,000 people per week. We are ready to get to work. All we need is the vaccine to get started. Until then, we will continue to work with elected officials to find solutions that make vaccine more available to the communities we serve.”

LVHN patients who have an appointment to receive their second dose of the Moderna vaccine Feb. 19 should call LVHN’s COVID-19 Hotline at 833-584-6283 (833-LVHN-CVD) to reschedule their appointment. Appointments for people who have a confirmation to receive their second Moderna dose after Feb. 19 will be held as scheduled because LVHN will receive another shipment of vaccine.

Appointments for people who have an appointment to receive their first vaccination will be held as scheduled. These people will receive the Pfizer vaccine.

Rite Aid and companies that receive vaccines directly from the federal government are not affected, though some appointments have been rescheduled because of the inclement weather.