A Northern California hospital was forced to administer 600 vaccines to local residents after a freezer outage to prevent the vaccines from going to waste.
Senior staff at Adventist Health Ukiah Valley Medical Center in Mendocino County were holding their first 2021 executive meeting when the hospital pharmacist interrupted to inform them that the freezer storing 830 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine had stopped working hours earlier, and the alarm meant to guard against such failure had failed.
The doses were quickly thawing at room temperature and must therefore be used within 12 hours, staff estimated they had two hours to use them before they would no longer be viable.
With the minutes ticking down, the medical team made the decision inject every dose, regardless of state guidelines.
A local elder care facility took 40 doses for staff, about 200 doses went to the county jail to given to front-line personnel and inmates.
Text were sent out to all Adventist employees letting people know that anyone who showed up could have the shot, same was sent to every available medical professional to turn out at one of four sites to give the vaccines and monitor those who took them.
Fifteen minutes after the freezer failure was first reported, shots were being administered at four sites as queues began to form as word spread.
By the two-hour deadline, every dose had found a patient and some 120 people were turned away after the dose ran out.