Friday, Jun 02, 2023

Why two Washington residents got Covid-19 vaccine while out shopping for groceries

Law student David MacMillan and his friend were at a Giant Food supermarket in Washington DC to pick up some groceries when a pharmacist approached them to ask if they were interested in getting the vaccine.

covid vaccine, grocery trip covid vaccine, moderna covid vaccine, covid vaccine room temperature storage, covid vaccine priority group, odd news, indian expressAs the vaccine can't be in room temperature for long, the residents not belonging to priority group were given the shots.

In some unexpected turn of events, a law student’s trip for groceries ended with him and a friend getting shots of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Law student David MacMillan and his friend were at a Giant Food supermarket in Washington DC to pick up some groceries when a pharmacist approached them to ask if they were interested in getting the shots. Taken by surprise he agreed and said it a “great way to start 2021”.

MacMillan posted a video on TikTok that shows him receiving the vaccine, and the clip has since been widely shared on the platform. In the clip, he explained that several first responders who were scheduled to receive the Moderna vaccine had missed their appointments. As the vaccine couldn’t be kept at room temperature beyond a few hours, they would have to be discarded, which is why the staff offered it to them.

“She turned to us and was like, ‘Hey, I’ve got two doses of the vaccine and I’m going to have to throw them away if I don’t give them to somebody. We close in 10 minutes. Do you want the Moderna vaccine?’” MacMillan said according to an NY Post report.

The coronavirus vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna need to be transported and stored at minus 70 and minus 20 degree Celsius respectively.

The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that states provide the vaccination to first responders, essential workers and at-risk populations, including seniors in nursing homes, first.

“It’s important that, when there’s so much misinformation swirling, that people are able to see that this is a good thing, this is a positive thing. We should be excited about being able to deal with the pandemic,” MacMillan told NBC News.


Talking about the vaccine he said that he had a mild reaction to the vaccine — a headache — but felt great overall. He also said that the CDC is checking with him every day by text to monitor symptoms.

In a statement to AFP, the supermarkert said: “The Moderna vaccine is valuable and lifesaving, and we are happy to have not wasted it and given this couple each a dose.”

However, they were not the only ones who got vaccinated while running an errand at the supermarket. Another Washington couple also received the shots at another store in the city.


Franck Le Bousse, 51-year-old DC resident walked into a Safeway market recently one afternoon and suddenly got to know that more than a dozen doses of the Moderna vaccine would expire if no one took them before the pharmacy closed in less than an hour.

“Went grocery shopping. . . . Got a vaccine!” the architect wrote after posting a photo.

In a Washington Post report, the architect quickly made a call to his wife Beth to come to the store to get a shot as well.

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“I just grabbed my coat and ran to Safeway,” she told the newspaper. She arrived as her husband was getting his shot in a separate room and recalled seeing him walk out after he was inoculated. “He looked like he won the lottery,” she said.

First published on: 07-01-2021 at 17:02 IST
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