How 'Waste Lists' Help People Get COVID-19 Vaccine Sooner

Nicole Nielsen reports.

Video Transcript

- As the vaccine continues to be distributed, we have all heard of wait lists, people signing up and then waiting for their name to be called for a shot. But have you heard of a waste list? It's allowing some north Texans who are not eligible yet for the vaccine to jump the line. Here's Nicole Nielsen.

JON BATTLE: Cancellations. No shows. It breeds waste.

NICOLE NIELSEN: To make sure all vaccine is being placed in someone's arm--

JON BATTLE: This is about going anywhere you can to get a vaccine.

NICOLE NIELSEN: --some pharmacies like specific Walmarts and CVSs is are offering waste lists for people to join even if you're ineligible. It's a way for folks to get on a waiting list for a vaccine that might otherwise have been tossed in the trash due to no shows or cancellations. But there isn't just one list. Every provider and pharmacy seemingly handles their waste lists differently. And not everyone has them.

JON BATTLE: These started up when the pharmacies came on board. Every little provider has their own method and their own way of doing a waste list.

NICOLE NIELSEN: Jon Battle runs the DFW COVID Vaccine Finder Facebook page with over 26,000 members. Many post tips on getting vaccinated through waste protocol. Debbie Villagomez and her husband both recently secured shots this way.

DEBBIE VILLAGOMEZ: We put our name on four or five lists, I believe. And we got a call within two days.

NICOLE NIELSEN: You can check out the websites of local pharmacies and see if they're vaccinating. If they are, call the location and ask if they have a list to be placed on for waste.

AURA RUOTOLO: And even on the form, it says that I'm eligible under the waste protocol. I'm glad I was able to mark that. And then within 10 minutes, I got the vaccine. And they scheduled me for the next appointment.

NICOLE NIELSEN: Battle also says he's seen people have success getting a shot if they show up in person around close and ask if there's extra. Of course, it's important to note the way the lists are handled can change.

JON BATTLE: It may change from day to day. I think come this summer, when we get into the masses, there'll be procedures, and there'll be steps, and it'll be pretty.

NICOLE NIELSEN: In Fort Worth, Nicole Nielsen, CBS 11 News.