Oregon healthcare workers stuck in the snow vaccinated random drivers while they waited

Every dose of the coronavirus vaccine has the ability to save a life. So it's incredibly important not to waste one drop. Especially at a time where there aren't enough doses of it to innoculate the entire country.

A group of Josephine County Public Health employees in Oregon is getting a lot of attention for its dedication to administering every last dose of the vaccine.

On Tuesday, the group of 20 healthcare workers got stuck in a snowstorm on their way from a COVID-19 vaccination event in rural Cave Junction en route to Grants Pass about 30 miles away.


The journey usually takes about 45 minutes but a jackknifed tractor-trailer on the road ahead meant that they were going to be stuck for hours. This meant that the remaining six doses of the COVID-19 vaccine they were carrying would probably expire by the time they'd reach Grants Pass.

via Josephine County Public Health / Facebook

Once a vial of the vaccine is thawed from the deep freeze the clock starts ticking on whether it can be administered. But after the vial is punctured is must be used within six hours or it has to be thrown out.

So the team decided to start knocking on the windows of the other stranded peoples' cars to see if they wanted the vaccine.

"We had one individual who was so happy, he took his shirt off and jumped out of the car," said Michael Weber, the public health director in Josephine County.

The team also administered a shot to a Josephine County Sheriff's Office employee who had arrived too late to the Cave Junction vaccination event was was on their way home.

via Josephine County Public Health / Facebook

While the efforts of the healthcare team should be applauded they knew they were in a pretty odd situation. "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?'"

The workers were able to administer all six doses of the vaccine before it expired.

"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," Webber said. "Our number one rule right now is nothing gets wasted."

According to Josephine Public Health's Facebook page, Webber says the impromptu roadside vaccination clinic was "one of the coolest operations he'd been a part of."

Oregon currently ranks 24th among states in vaccinations administered per capita. The state has vaccinated 325,000 of its 4.2 million residents.

In the end, one question remains: Will the people who were vaccinated on the road have the opportunity to get their second booster shot in a month? Or will they have to wait their turn?

Photo courtesy of Justin Sather
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While most 10-year-olds are playing Minecraft, riding bikes, or watching YouTube videos, Justin Sather is intent on saving the planet. And it all started with a frog blanket when he was a baby.

"He carried it everywhere," Justin's mom tells us. "He had frog everything, even a frog-themed birthday party."

In kindergarten, Justin learned that frogs are an indicator species – animals, plants, or microorganisms used to monitor drastic changes in our environment. With nearly one-third of frog species on the verge of extinction due to pollution, pesticides, contaminated water, and habitat destruction, Justin realized that his little amphibian friends had something important to say.

"The frogs are telling us the planet needs our help," says Justin.

While it was his love of frogs that led him to understand how important the species are to our ecosystem, it wasn't until he read the children's book What Do You Do With An Idea by Kobi Yamada that Justin-the-activist was born.

Inspired by the book and with his mother's help, he set out on a mission to raise funds for frog habitats by selling toy frogs in his Los Angeles neighborhood. But it was his frog art which incorporated scientific facts that caught people's attention. Justin's message spread from neighbor to neighbor and through social media; so much so that he was able to raise $2,000 for the non-profit Save The Frogs.

And while many kids might have their 8th birthday party at a laser tag center or a waterslide park, Justin invited his friends to the Ballona wetlands ecological preserve to pick invasive weeds and discuss the harms of plastic pollution.

Justin's determination to save the frogs and help the planet got a massive boost when he met legendary conservationist Dr. Jane Goodall.

Photo courtesy of Justin Sather

At one of her Roots and Shoots youth initiative events, Dr. Goodall was so impressed with Justin's enthusiasm for helping frogs, she challenged the young activist to take it one step further and focus on plastic pollution as well. Justin accepted her challenge and soon after was featured in an issue of Bravery Magazine dedicated to Jane Goodall.

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This article originally appeared on 06.16.15


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Moms and dads of the digital age are well aware of the growing competition for their children's attention, and they're bombarded at each turn of the page or click of the mouse with both cutting-edge ideas and newfound worries for raising great kids.

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