NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A week of unrelenting winter weather also disrupted vaccine clinics.
Hundreds of people couldn’t make their appointment, meaning all of those doses were in danger of being lost until a last-minute effort to save them.
Call it vaccine gold, in no way should a single dose go to waste.
“I just think that should not be allowed, said Dr. Alex Jahangir, “The way we’re going to beat this virus is when a large majority of our city and our state, and our country, become vaccinated.”
Jahangir, Nashville’s COVID-19 Taskforce chair, essentially went looking for people to vaccinate this week when faced with the possibility of nearly 700 doses going bad.
“When there is a plan to use them over the course of the week, they’re pulled out and are allowed to thaw,” he explained.
Once they thaw out from sub-zero temps, forget it. Acting fast, Jahangir and mobile teams worked around the bad weather, culminating with Jahangir delivering 80 vaccines to a pop-up clinic in North Nashville.
“We were very diligent to try to make sure we reached as many vulnerable people, both medically as well as age.”
They vaccinated the uninsured, communities of color, 400 doses to the Rescue Mission, and hundreds more to area churches. The life-saving shots would do what they were designed to, and at no expense to, those who couldn’t make their vaccine appointment.
“Starting Monday, we’re going to call you and reschedule you for your first dose. Your vaccine is here. We’ve allocated it for you,” Jahangir said, “You’re not going to lose your place in line, you’re not going to lose your vaccine. And if your vaccine is given at four weeks versus three, that has shown to not really matter.”
The efficacy will not be impacted, but the more vaccinations, something much bigger will be.
“I really in my heart am starting to see the finish line here.”
The task force doctor added that wearing masks will continue to be critical in stopping the spread of the virus. Though as more people are vaccinated, Nashville will inch closer to a return to normal.