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Walmart, Winn-Dixie vaccine appointments in Florida impacted by wintry weather

Publix cancels new appointments this week
Posted at 2:07 PM, Feb 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-19 17:21:24-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The wintry weather that hit many areas of the U.S. this week continues to impact the scheduling of COVID-19 appointments in Florida.

Vaccine shipments scheduled to arrive Friday morning have been delayed by the storm.

If you have an appointment to get your COVID-19 vaccine at Walmart, and you have not been called and notified that it is canceled or will be rescheduled, then your shot is not impacted.

The company’s website says its pharmacies are being impacted by the delay in vaccine shipments.

Walmart said many of their locations needed to pause scheduling new appointments until more of the vaccine supply is received.

Walmart released the following statement related to receiving the second dose of the shot:

Our pharmacy staff should be scheduling second doses through a manual process when the customer is on site after receiving the first dose. We are re-educating our pharmacy teams on this process to help ensure customers have a reserved date and time for their second dose of covid vaccine. For those customers who did not have their second dose appointments made at the time of their first dose, our pharmacy teams will be reaching out to schedule their second dose appointments in the next several days. We are sorry for the confusion and our teams are working hard to make sure second dose appointments are made.

Walmart is urging customers to visit their COVID-19 website and Sam's Club site to check availability that will continually be updated.

COVID-19 vaccines are currently not available at Walmart locations in Palm Beach County but are being given at stores in St. Lucie and Okeechobee County.

Wayne Belfer said his Thursday appointment at Walmart was not impacted by the vaccine shipment delay. However, he quickly learned from the pharmacist that would change for others.

"[The pharmacist just got word that his truck wasn't coming with the vaccine due to the weather, so they were going to have to call Friday, Saturday, Sunday to tell them their appointments have to be rescheduled because they don’t have the supply they were expecting," Belfer said.

Wayne Belfer
Wayne Belfer says he was surprised he was able to book an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine at a Florida Walmart.

Yvette Veley received a call from a different Walmart canceling the appointment she made for her 84-year-old father-in-law. She said it took weeks to book the shot for Saturday but delays in vaccine deliveries are causing a mess for local pharmacies.

"Due to the weather events in Texas, they are not able to ship the Moderna vaccine, so it's been canceled. It's indefinite, so they don't know. They weren't able to reschedule," Veley said.

Walmart, Sam's Club and Publix customers are urged to continue to check their websites for updates.

Yvette Veley, has COVID-19 vaccine appointment canceled at Walmart
Yvette Veley said she was notified by Walmart that her vaccine appointment was canceled due to winter weather in Texas.

Winn-Dixie officials said customers who have an appointment already scheduled for the COVID-19 vaccine will not be impacted. The storm is only impacting Winn-Dixie pharmacies from making new appointments.

Winn-Dixie locations in Indian River County are currently the only stores in our area giving the COVID-19 shot.

Publix announced earlier this week that snow and ice that hit the nation prevented the Florida-based grocery chain from scheduling new appointments both Wednesday and Friday.

White House officials announced Friday that the winter weather across the U.S. caused a "backlog" of six million doses of vaccines this week.

"It's understandable. I just hope that we will be able to get [my father-in-law] rebooked in a timely fashion," Veley said.