Woman given leftover vaccine dose at NRG Park site

Are you at least 50 years old with a chronic health condition? You now qualify for the vaccine at NRG Park. Here are more details.

Video Transcript

- Well, welcome back. Today is day two at the NRG vaccine super site. The goal here, to vaccinate 6,000 people a day.

- A very big goal. And of course, at the end of day one, one woman was lucky enough to get one of the last doses. ABC 13's Miya Shaw spoke with her today. And she joins us live. Miya?

MIYA SHAY: Yeah, FEMA tells me yesterday, they did about 5,500 doses here at NRG Park. Now, they say there are no leftover doses. But one woman we talked to said she literally just drove up here around 7 o'clock last night and lucked out.

- This is the last Pfizer vaccine on February 24. You are the lucky last person.

MIYA SHAY: Anuja Vij felt a little bit like she'd won the lottery last night.

- There were no other cars. It was my car and the car in front of me.

MIYA SHAY: It was after 7:30 at night, Vij and a friend who drove by NRG Park on a lark. And there were three vaccine doses left with no other takers.

- By the time he took down my name, by the time he took down my information, I had the last dose. The Air Force guy was just standing over there, holding onto my dose. And he just said, I'm going to give you the jab if you're ready.

MIYA SHAY: The idea of getting a so-called leftover dose, the shots left over in an already open vial of the vaccine, isn't new. But vaccine providers, including Methodist Hospital, cautioned people against driving around and trying to randomly find one.

- But every once in a while, there's an occasional dose that has to be distributed. People are getting them at various pharmacies or other locations if that happens. I don't know that I'd recommend it as a strategy for anybody.

MIYA SHAY: Most providers already have pre-existing waitlists of people they will call first if there are extra doses. And across the state, more people are getting their shots. So far, more than 7 million doses have been allocated to Texas. Over 3 million people have had their first shot. And 1.6 million are fully vaccinated.

There's still a long way to go to get everyone that needed vaccine. Vij is just glad that that last dose didn't end up in the trash.

- There's no easy answers on how to do this. But I just got lucky.

MIYA SHAY: Yeah, it's important you know FEMA and every other provider I talked to say, don't drive around to different locations, that you're probably looking for a needle in a haystack. And your chances are very, very small. And you're likely to be disappointed. However, there does seem to be the occasional lucky person.

Now, we do have some good news. Both the governor and local providers say, within the next couple of weeks, our vaccine supplies will dramatically increase even more, and that perhaps by April and May, anybody who wants a vaccine will be able to get one.