BANGOR, ME — February 1, 2021
I know it is frustrating to see the vaccination process roll out so slowly. Even more frustrating is to see "blunders" during that process... A freezer malfunction at a hospital in Seattle, a supply vehicle stranded in a snowstorm in Oregon. Both with vials speeding towards expiration.
But the stories that accompany those are what make the blunders okay. More than okay. Inspirational, uplifting.
In Seattle, it was the wee hours of morning, before dawn, when the cold storage malfunctioned. Nurses, doctors, medical assistants, janitors, secretaries, volunteers, all texted and called every person on "the list," desperately trying to get people in to administer the vaccines before they expired. When that list of people exhausted itself, they started calling and texting anyone they could think of. And with a small remainder of vials left and only minutes to spare before their expiration, they took to the streets vaccinating anyone they came across. There were just over 1,600 doses compromised. And thanks to their determination, none of them were wasted.
In Oregon, public health workers were leaving a vaccination clinic, with only a few vials remaining. Travel was treacherous due to a snowstorm, and the van went off the road, leaving them stranded along with other motorists. The staff went out into the blizzard, walking from car to car offering the vaccine to other stranded motorists. Even though there were fewer vaccinations in this "blunder," none of them went unadministered.
Any controversy around these "out of turn" vaccinations comes from the cynical, the selfish. There is no controversy. No unfairness. Only valliance.
The very example of everyday heroism from people who acted swiftly and efficiently, admirably, while facing extreme circumstances.