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Health care staff stranded on snowy highway gives COVID vaccines to motorists

Workers didn't want the doses to expire
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Posted at 10:25 AM, Jan 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-28 18:20:56-05

JOSEPHINE COUNTY, Ore. — When a group of health care workers with COVID-19 vaccines on hand became stranded on a snowy Oregon highway, they improvised to make sure the doses didn’t go to waste.

Josephine County Public Health says about 20 of its staff and volunteers had just finished a mass vaccination event at a local high school and were on their way to administer the remaining six vaccines in Grants Pass when the snowstorm hit on Highway 199 near Hayes Hill.

The snow was going to stop the personnel from delivering those doses to the intended recipients, so they set up an “impromptu clinic” with an ambulance on hand for safety.

Not wanting any doses to expire, the health department says its staff began walking from car to car, offering stranded motorists a chance at receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

In the end, officials say all six doses were administered, including one to a Josephine County Sheriff's Office employee who had arrived too late for the high school clinic, but ended up stopped with the others on her way back to Grants Pass.

The health department says its director, Mike Weber, called the situation “one of the coolest operations he'd been a part of.”