Sometimes when life throws up a literal roadblock, you just have to improvise and hope for the best. Such was the case when a group of healthcare workers with doses of the COVID-19 vaccine got stuck in a snowstorm on an Oregon highway. Not wanting to let those doses expire, they administered them to motorists stuck in the snow.
On Tuesday, Josephine County Public Health staff conducted a mass vaccination event at Illinois Valley High School in Cave Junction, Oregon. After a successful event, the team had six doses left on hand to deliver to recipients in Grants Pass. Unfortunately, the team wouldn’t make it to Grants Pass as a snowstorm stranded them on Highway 199 near Hayes Hill.
To make matters worse, the vaccines were set to expire before they would get to their destination.
But the workers were not about to let good vaccines expire and with an ambulance on hand, they set up an impromptu roadside clinic. The JCPH staff walked from car to car offering stranded motorists a chance to get the COVID-19 vaccine. In the end, the six doses were successfully administered, making the best out of a bad situation. One of the recipients was even a person who wasn’t able to get to the high school on time for the original event.
I adore this story. Being stranded in a snowstorm is an awful situation. You cannot move anywhere and you have no idea when you’ll finally be underway again. It’s even worse if you’re a health care worker trying to deliver a vaccine before it expires. But these people hopped right into action to make sure no dose went to waste.
To add icing on top of this feel-good story, the health department’s director, Mike Weber, said the situation was one of the coolest operations he’d been a part of.