For the second weekend in a row, the vaccination super site at the Del Mar Fairgrounds will close due to a lack of vaccines, officials said Tuesday.
The site operated by Scripps Health will be closed Friday through Sunday due to a shortage in the number of doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine that were received by the health group last week, Scripps Health said.
The same site was closed last weekend due to a vaccine shortage and several patients had appointments rescheduled. Scripps Health did not know if any of the canceled appointments were affected for a second time.
The cause of the delays was also not known.
As more people become eligible to receive the vaccine, supply chain shortages make the realities of actually getting one a frustrating experience. NBC 7’s Alexis Rivas was at the Del Mar superstation that just reopened after shutting down all day Saturday.
Anyone who had an appointment scheduled for those days will be rescheduled through the MyTurn online appointment system. Scripps said appointments will be rescheduled for either this Thursday, a day ahead of the closures, or early the following week.
San Diego County’s vaccination sites often announce sudden closures caused by shortages in vaccine allotment, especially over the last month. Smaller clinics like the Vista Recreation Center, the Border View YMCA and the Lemon Grove Community Center all experienced closures this week due to shortages.
Larger sites like the Petco Park Vaccination Super Station in downtown San Diego has on multiple occasions shut down for days due to limited supply of the Moderna vaccine — the only type of vaccine the site administers. Some of the delays were caused by severe weather in the mid-west that prevented delivery of the Moderna vaccine to the county.
Julie Swann an engineer at North Carolina State University who specialized in pandemic modeling and supply chains said interruptions should be expected during a vaccination effort to this scale.
“All supply chains are vulnerable to disruptions,” Swann said.
“If we had more supply in the system then we would be less vulnerable to these disruptions,” she explained. “But one of the reasons it has such a big impact is we are literally taking the vaccine off that production line, getting out the door and putting it into people’s arms as quickly as possible.”
The Biden administration is hopeful that vaccine distribution will ramp up with the addition of the latest Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The administration and the pharmaceutical company struck a deal to accelerate the production of its single-dose vaccine in early March.
For more information on San Diego County vaccine sites, click here.
To take a look at the county’s available appointments, click here.