Vaccine administrators dole out shots to stranded drivers in the middle of a snowstorm
The vaccine rollout in the U.S. isn’t totally going to plan. Some states aren’t administering doses fast enough, others don’t have enough, and in many area, stories of “expiring vaccine doses” have become local horror stories. But in the midst of all the vaccine chaos are random little vaccine miracles, like the health administrators from Oregon who got stuck in a snowstorm with a batch of soon-too-expire vaccines and made a game-time decision to hand out the vaccines to other drivers who were also stuck in the snowstorm and willing to get a surprise jab in the arm.
Workers from Josephine County Public Health Department in Grants Pass, Oregon had just finished administering vaccine doses at a rural vaccination site when they began to head back to their home base with six remaining doses of vaccine they were planning to give to individuals once they returned. However, once they hit the road, they were snowed in and knowing the vaccines would expire in six hours and fearing they wouldn’t make it out of the snow in time, they decided to walk door-to-door to all the other cars that were also stuck on the highway, asking if anyone wanted to be vaccinated so that no vaccine went to waste.
Calling it “one of the coolest operations,” the Josephine County Public Health Department shared the saga on Facebook.
“Honestly, once we knew we weren’t going to be back in town in time to use the vaccine, it was just the obvious choice,” Michael Weber, the public health director told The New York Times. “Our No. 1 rule right now is nothing gets wasted.”
Apparently some people jumped at the chance to get the shot, while others politely declined, though the health administrators had a doctor and an ambulance on hand, so while unorthodox, it was completely safe.
“We had one individual who was so happy, he took his shirt off and jumped out of the car,” Weber added.
One of the individuals that got a vaccine in his car was actually an employee of the local Sheriff’s office, who was on his way to the vaccine clinic but got their too late and was pleasantly surprised to find the wandering snowed-in vaccine administrators on his way home.
At the end of the day, all six vaccines found their way into arms and the comments on Josephine County Public Health’s Facebook page are full of praise.
More COVID-19 vaccine stories like these please!