Oregon healthcare workers who were stranded in a snowstorm on Tuesday began administering leftover coronavirus vaccines to motorists on the side of the road rather than let the doses go to waste, local officials said.
Josephine County Public Health staff and volunteers were leaving a vaccine clinic at Illinois Valley High School, about 160 miles south of Eugene, when a storm stranded them and many others on Highway 199.
The team had six doses of the Covid-19 vaccine remaining from clinic, which they had planned to administer at nearby Grants Pass, but the snow prevented them reaching the city before the prepared doses would expire.
“Not wanting to waste any doses, dedicated JCPH staff members began walking from car to car, offering stranded motorists a chance at receiving the vaccine,” the health department said in a Facebook post on Tuesday.
About 20 health workers and volunteers were part of the group, including Christi Siedlecki, whose family had just finished volunteering at the vaccine site and then witnessed the pop-up roadside clinic.
“Watching them go car to car in that horrible weather filled me with pride,” Siedlecki told NBC News. “I felt gratitude they were working so hard not to waste a single dose of vaccine, even in such horrible conditions.”
All six vaccines were successfully administered to those stuck in the snow, including one to a Josephine County Sheriff’s Office employee, Josephine County Public Health said.
“It is important for people to know how dedicated health professionals are to getting every single dose into people,” Siedlecki said. “My community should be so proud. I am.”