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Oregon health workers stranded in snowstorm administer remaining coronavirus vaccines to stranded drivers

Jan 28, 2021, 7:57 AM
Oregon health workers administer the Moderna coronavirus vaccine to stranded motorists during a sno...
Oregon health workers administer the Moderna coronavirus vaccine to stranded motorists during a snowstorm. Josephine County

JOSEPHINE COUNTY, Oregon — Generally, getting stuck in a snowstorm isn’t a great experience, but for a group of stranded motorists in Oregon it ended up being a stoke of good luck.

That’s because in their long queue of cars stranded during a snowstorm was a group of healthcare workers returning from a vaccine clinic at a nearby high school.

The workers from the Josephine County Public Health Department had six doses of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine remaining. With the stall in the traffic, they were afraid those unused doses would spoil before they could get them back into their subzero storage.

“We knew the vaccine would not make it back to Grants Pass,” said public health director Michael Weber told the Washington Post. “In all likelihood, it was going to expire.”

So he consulted with his team, and they decided to start asking their fellow stranded travelers and offer the remaining doses.

So they started knocking on car windows. 

Drivers in Oregon snowstorm get the COVID-19 vaccine

“We were a little nervous because not a lot of people in this part of the state are eager to get the vaccine at this point in time,” Josephine County health officer David Candelaria told the Post.

In total, it took them 45 minutes to find six individuals willing to get the dose. Weber said most politely declined, but some of those who accepted were overjoyed. 

They said one of the last people to get their dose a sheriff’s office employee who had been scheduled to receive her dose earlier but got stuck in the snow.

“It was meant to be for her,” Candelaria said. 

“I can’t imagine a better way to spend four hours stuck in a snowstorm,” Weber concluded. He said it was one of the coolest operations he’d been a part of.

The ambulance that accompanied the workers to the high school was also on hand for anyone who may have had an adverse reaction to the vaccine.


How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronaviruses transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Wear a mask.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
  • Obtain a flu shot.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A

Utah’s Coronavirus Information

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States

 

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Oregon health workers stranded in snowstorm administer remaining coronavirus vaccines to stranded drivers