Americans wait for hours hoping to score leftover vaccine doses

Charlie De Mar
·2 min read

About 2.2 million vaccine shots are now being administered every day. Eligibility varies wildly by state, but some hoping to score a dose have found success skipping the waitlist. 

The line outside a county-run vaccination site in River Grove, Illinois, was more than 50 people deep and growing. Not a single person there had an appointment. Some aren't even eligible. But they all had the same idea.

"To try and get a vaccine," Dave Moore, one of the people waiting in line, told CBS News.

"They will come out and let you know if they have any extras or anything," said Amy Voyles, another person hoping to receive the vaccine.

Between the limited supply and challenges of signing up for a shot, to the precise shelf life of the cold storage vaccine, those waiting in line are hoping for canceled appointments, no shows and extra doses that may otherwise end up in the trash.

"We though to give it a shot," Marley Berk told CBS News.

Some who decided to chance it have made the hunt for an extra dose a near daily habit. "I came on Tuesday," Todd Nelson said.

Voyles tells CBS News she showed up, "Saturday and every day this week except Monday."

And medical experts agree, if you can get a shot, you should. 

"I absolutely believe the requirement ethically is never waste a shot," Dr. Arthur Caplan, director of medical ethics at the New York University Grossman School of Medicine, told CBS News. "We've spent zero time talking about what to do with surplus."

In line at the vaccination site in Illinois, as the sun set and more than three hours went by, those waiting got bad news: A nurse told the group, "Hi, guys. We are closed."

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