Americans wait for hours hoping to get a leftover dose of vaccine

Around 2.2 million vaccine shots are now administered every day. Eligibility varies widely by state, but some hoping for a dose succeed in skipping the waiting list.

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 are not even eligible. But they all had the same idea.

“To try to get a vaccine,” Dave Moore, one of those waiting, told CBS News.

“They’ll come out and let you know if they have any extras or anything,” said Amy Voyles, another person hoping for the vaccine.

Between the limited supply and the challenges of registering for a shot and the exact shelf life of the refrigerated vaccine, those waiting are hoping for canceled appointments, no-shows and extra doses that might otherwise end up in the trash.

“Let’s try it,” Marley Berk told CBS News.

Some who have decided to take the risk have made the hunt for an extra dose an almost daily habit. “I came on Tuesday,” said Todd Nelson.

Voyles tells CBS News that she showed up: “Saturday and every day this week except Monday.”

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

“I firmly believe that the ethical requirement is never to waste a shot,” said Dr. Arthur Caplan, director of medical ethics at New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine, told CBS News. “We didn’t spend time talking about what to do with surpluses.”

At the vaccination center in Illinois, when the sun set and more than three hours passed, those waiting got bad news: A nurse said to the group, “Hi guys. We’re closed.”

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