Now that coronavirus vaccines are finally here, people are lining up to get them, and healthcare workers are doing their best to make sure they do.
During last Tuesday’s blizzard, when a dedicated inoculation team found themselves stranded in a traffic jam, instead of letting doses of the vaccine expire, they jumped out of their vehicles and went from car to car in search of volunteers. to receive potentially life-saving vaccines.
After spending a day delivering vaccines at various locations, Josephine County Public Health Director Michael Weber and 20 colleagues were returning to the base of operations in Grants Pass, Oregon, with six doses of vaccine left over. Stuck in a line of snowy cars behind an accident, Weber quickly realized that they weren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Both Moderna and Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccines must be stored in subzero conditions prior to use. They only have a six hour shelf life once they reach room temperature.
With the vaccine viability window closing, rather than letting the precious cargo go to waste, Weber sprang into action. “We knew the vaccine would not go back to Grants Pass,” he said. The Washington Post. “In all likelihood, it was going to expire. I decided to start going door to door, car to car, offering the vaccine. “
Leading a small caravan with pre-loaded hypodermic drugs, medical supplies and a large umbrella, Weber and four team members began probing motorists on the road for potential candidates. After 45 minutes, all the remaining doses were distributed.
The six lucky ones who received the unexpected shot in the arm were elated. One “vaccinated” was so excited that he jumped out of his car and took off his shirt in the snowstorm to give himself the injection.
And finally, in a quintessential “someone up there likes me” moment, the last dose was for a woman who had missed her scheduled appointment earlier that day. She was excited.
Weber and his team were also quite satisfied with the result. “I can’t imagine a better way to spend four hours stuck in a snowstorm,” he said.
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