Vaccine ‘waste lists’ help some Americans get their vaccines early

Coronavirus Vaccine

DALLAS (NewsNation Now) — For months now, we’ve heard the stories of Americans desperate to get on a wait list for a coronavirus vaccine. Some though are having luck with “waste lists.”

NewsNation spoke with three women who were able to get their shots thanks to a notification that their local pharmacies had leftover vaccine.

“Probably the first day I called five, and I got on one list,” said Amy Lester Jones.

Amy Lester Jones is newly vaccinated. The Dallas realtor is a wife and mom juggling life in a pandemic. Her two children continue to learn virtually and in a year the family has gone out to eat once.

“I’m a bit of a hypochondriac by nature, so this whole epidemic has been hard for me,” said Jones. “I’m sick of living in fear. I’m sick of worrying about it all the time.”

She came across Facebook posts from people claiming to have gotten a vaccine via “waste lists.” Essentially, a list of people who might not be eligible yet but want to be notified by a pharmacy if they’re about to toss out unclaimed vaccines at the end of the day.

“So what I did was I started calling Walmart pharmacies all over Dallas and Fort Worth, just asking them if they have a waste list,” explained Jones.

Across town, Hannah Fairchild also did the same and started with her local CVS pharmacy.

“They didn’t currently have any vaccines, but put me on their waste list and said it was 10 pages long. Kind of like ‘good luck, if we get to you,’” said Fairchild.

By noon the next day, Fairchild was waiting in line to get her shot, with her two little daughters in tow.

“You know we’ve made so many sacrifices, like so many others in the past year and it’s all been for those two girls and to have them there was just a big celebration for us,” said Fairchild.

It took Jones about a week to land her first dose off a waste list.

When asked what it was like receiving her first dose, Fairchild said she was ecstatic.

“I was like ‘Yes I can’t believe it!’, I’m so happy. How long do I have to wait for my next one? Like how soon do I get that so I can feel more comfortable? ”responded Jones.

Payal Patel is a Dallas Fort Worth woman who has helped hundreds of Texans schedule their vaccines.

She says she knows of at least a hundred people who have gotten their covid-19 shots off of “waste lists.” And to those who think these patients are cutting the line, she says this:

“I mean I honestly don’t understand that at all. Because at the end of the day, the goal is to get everyone who wants a shot vaccinated. So I don’t think they’re line cutters. If there’s a shot that’s going to go to waste, give it to somebody who wants it,” stated Patel.

All three women say the vaccines are out there. All you have to do is start making phone calls.

“I’m just happy that pharmacies and others who have the vaccine aren’t just throwing it away, but they’re figuring out a way to get it to people who need it, who are willing to take the shots,” added Jones.

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