CNN reports Josephine County Public Health workers were driving back from a mass vaccination clinic in Cave Junction, Oregon on Tuesday when they got stuck. They only had six hours to get the rest of the doses to people who were waiting for them about 30 miles away, a trip that would usually take around 45 minutes. They knew they wouldn’t make it, particularly since there was a jackknifed tractor-trailer in their path.
In order to prevent the doses from going unused, the health workers offered the vaccine, car by car. An ambulance was close by in case anyone experienced an adverse reaction.
“We had one individual who was so happy, he took his shirt off and jumped out of the car,” Michael Weber, the public health director in Josephine County, told the New York Times. While some people declined, all the doses were eventually administered, including to one sheriff’s office employee who had missed the mass vaccination due to the snow.
“It was a strange conversation,” Weber said. “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?’”
He said it was “one of the coolest operations” he’d ever participated in and that administering the shots before they expired was an easy decision to make. “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. “Our No. 1 rule right now is nothing gets wasted.”