Health workers stuck in accident with expiring vaccines vaccinated other drivers

A group of Oregon health care workers, stuck in the snow, decided to offer coronavirus vaccinations to their fellow stranded drivers to avoid potentially wasting their remaining doses of the medicine.

As The New York Times reports, Michael Weber, public health director in Josephine County, Ore., found himself stranded in the middle of the highway during a snowstorm. He and a group of public health workers were transporting doses of the Moderna vaccine to Grants Pass, about 30 miles from the location.

Upon realizing they could be stuck in the road for hours, the group of health care workers decided to offer the vaccine to those also stranded around them. Weber told the Times that most drivers laughed and declined the shot due to the unusual nature of the situation. According to Weber, there was a doctor and an ambulance present to oversee the administration. 


“We had one individual who was so happy, he took his shirt off and jumped out of the car,” said Weber.

“It was a strange conversation,” Weber added. “Imagine yourself stranded on the side of the road in a snowstorm and having someone walk up and say: ‘Hey. Would you like a shot in the arm?’”

Six doses of the vaccine were ultimately administered on the snow-laden highway, the Times reports.

“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,” Weber said, telling the Times it was "one of the coolest operations." 

“Our No. 1 rule right now is nothing gets wasted.”

The Hill has reached out to Josephine County public health for more details on the story.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 600,000 doses have been distributed to Oregon so far, with more than 325,000 doses administered.