Oregon Healthcare Workers Save the Day


Photo Courtesy of: abc7ny.com

This is an image of someone getting the vaccine on the Oregon roadside.

Mallory Priest, Journalist

People Magazine and NBC News share important information about 20 Oregon healthcare and volunteers who were going to travel 30 miles to deliver Covid vaccines, but unfortunately got stuck behind a jackknifed tractor-trailer, and the 6 remaining Covid vaccines expired in just a few hours. It took 45 minutes to find 6 willing volunteers to take the first dose of the vaccine. 

One of the healthcare workers who got stuck was Dr. Weber and he would be the one giving the vaccine. Dr. Weber said that there would be an ambulance team overseeing the operation. The team went around asking all of the drivers if they would like the first dose of the vaccine, and the majority of people declined, but 6 drivers accepted the offer. 

One of the recipients was an employee from the Josephine County Sheriff’s Department who was too late to the Cave Junction vaccine sight, and she was headed to the Grant Pass vaccine sight when she got stuck in the snowstorm. One man was so excited at the offer, that he took his shirt off and jumped out of the car in the freezing cold.

“The team had six doses of the Covid-19 vaccine remaining from the 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,” states NBC News.

Even though multiple people denied the offer, the 6 who accepted, were appreciated by the health care workers and volunteers because their number 1 rule right now is that nothing gets wasted. This setup may seem sketchy and unsanitary, but the proper precautions were taken to administer the Covid-19 vaccine. 

“Weber stuck the vaccination paperwork in his coat, while another team member grabbed the bin with the vaccine doses, alcohol, and gauze. Other staff members brought a container for the discarded needles and umbrellas for the wet snow. The ambulance that had been on-site at the vaccination event was stuck with them in traffic and was ready to go in the rare case that someone had an allergic reaction,”  wrote People Magazine. 

The vaccine distribution process was slow in the beginning, but thankfully it picked up the last couple of weeks. 

“As of Jan. 27, Oregon has administered 325,488 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and nationwide, 20,687,970 people have received at least one vaccine dose. After a slow start to the distribution effort, vaccinations have picked up significantly in the last few weeks. President Joe Biden has vowed to give out 100 million doses in his first 100 days in office, and is on track to meet or exceed that goal,” explains People Magazine. 

With the number of Covid cases rising, hopefully, the number of people vaccinated will continue to rise also. Thankfully 6 more people are vaccinated due to the 20 amazing employees from the Josephine County Public Health Office.