Vaccine dose shipment delays are postponing two more of Meadville Medical Center's scheduled second-dose vaccination clinics as the hospital has a new local call center for information on appointments set to start Monday.

The medical center has not received COVID-19 vaccine directly from Pfizer this week, which has forced the hospital to postpone scheduled second-dose clinics set for Saturday and Monday. Saturday's clinic was to be the second dose of the two-part vaccine for about 1,100 people and 600 people were to be at Monday's clinic, said Don Rhoten, vice president of consumer engagement.

A lack of vaccine supply forced a postponement of a second-shot clinic for 800 people on Thursday.

Those 2,500 people affected by the shipment delays are being contacted by the hospital, according to Rhoten. However, it's unknown when those second-shot clinics will be rescheduled.

"Until we have the doses in hand, we're not rescheduling those clinics," he said.

Guidelines for the Pfizer vaccine allow for a 21- to 42-day window between a person receiving the first and second doses of the vaccine, Rhoten said.

Meanwhile, starting Monday, Crawford County residents will be able to call about MMC’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution process and their current position on the hospital's vaccination waiting list.

Eligible individuals who are not on the waiting list, but would like to receive the vaccine, should call and submit their information as well, Rhoten said.

Starting Monday, the call center will be operational from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays by calling (814) 336-1800. 

Information about an online registration option for the general public will be available prior to the next available distribution.

"MMC’s Crawford County Vaccination Line will help residents get information about their status on the waiting list and sign up for future distributions when they are eligible," Rhoten said. "The goal with the new online registration process is to provide an additional option for anyone who is not on the current waiting list."

Earlier this month, the hospital temporarily had to halt taking new vaccination registrations due to overwhelming demand.  

MMC has managed to reduce the number of people on the current waiting list from 6,000 to 3,000 by conducting multiple vaccine distributions each week, totaling up to 14,000 doses being administered to date, Rhoten said.

The current waiting list is comprised of names which were submitted by primary care physicians and those eligible who made requests previously at mmchs.org/vaccine.

Keith Gushard can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at kgushard@meadvilletribune.com.

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