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Here's How Vaccine Hunters Are Getting Vaccinated — Even If They're Technically Not Eligible Yet

If you're willing to put in a little extra work, there are some guilt-free ways to hunt down a vaccine that don't involve taking someone else's spot in line

Vaccine hesitancy? Perish the thought. You're someone who wants that COVID-19 vaccine coursing through your bloodstream as soon as possible. You don't care if it's Moderna, Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson. You want your vaccine and you want it as soon as possible.

Just one catch. You're not technically eligible yet.

As of now, your vaccine eligibility can still vary wildly depending on your state. In most states, if you're under a certain age without underlying conditions, it's still a waiting game ... technically.

But if you're willing to put in a little extra work, there are some guilt-free ways to hunt down a vaccine that don't involve taking someone else's spot in line.

Click here to see if you're eligible for a vaccine in your state.

Volunteer at a Vaccine Clinic 

Some states now permit volunteers at vaccine clinics to receive the vaccine if they work a shift of several hours. And you don’t have to be a medical worker to volunteer. Sites need volunteers to help direct people to the right place, help with registration forms and perform other various tasks. Volunteers won’t necessarily get a shot the day they help out but may if supply allows. Each clinic makes its own decisions about vaccinations for volunteers.

Join a Standby List 

The writer of this article has firsthand experience that this method can be successful. The vaccines are perishable. Once they're opened, pharmacies have a window to either use them or dispose of them. And no pharmacy wants to throw a life-saving vaccine into the dumpster. So many are compiling standby lists of people to call should they have a surplus at the end of the day.

For example, if you’re not yet eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine in Ohio, Walmart is offering the shot to anyone who wants one as a last resort before they are thrown away.

There Are Apps For That

The wonders of technology. There are a handful of apps that assist vaccine hunters in locating available doses that would otherwise be discarded by a pharmacy or provider in your area. Cyrus Massoumi, the creator of one such app called Dr. B, joined LX News to explain how it works.

"Any vaccine provider who has excess doses indicates the number of doses they have and when they expire, and it automatically text messages the appropriate number of people at the local government priority criteria at that vaccine site, and it does so until every single dose is spoken for," Massoumi said.

Right Place, Right Time

Sometimes people who just happen to be near a clinic at closing time are offered leftover shots that would otherwise be thrown away. Every once in a while health workers actually go out scouring for recipients. If you're of a lucky sort you just might find yourself on the receiving end of a vaccine shot without having to do any work at all.