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“Vaccine Hunters”: Public health officials say hunting for leftover vaccines not worth a shot

Published: Mar. 14, 2021 at 10:46 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - As some people ineligible for the vaccines are hanging out at sites hoping to get a leftover shot, Dane Co. public health officials explain they likely won’t get one, because every vaccine has a name on it.

People are lining up for a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine hoping it’s a shot toward normalcy. The excitement is causing some to chase down a dose even if they aren’t eligible.

“I was really excited. I was shocked. I didn’t expect it,” Lourdes Godinec, COVID-19 vaccine recipient said. “I’m just very lucky. This is like gold.”

Public health officials said there aren’t any extra doses because vaccine demand is still outweighing supply.

“We did have some people that were waiting for a little bit,” Dane County Public Health Operations Section Chief Doug Voegeli said. “We were saying ‘you’re welcome to wait, but there’s not going to be doses.”

At the Alliant Energy Center vaccine site, Voegeli said these ‘vaccine hunters’ stick around hoping to score a leftover shot, but he said the odds of that happening are slim to none.

“It’s not going to happen. We know how many doses we are getting each week,” he said.

The amount of doses are matched with the same amount of patients and swooping in hoping to get the vaccine of a no-show is a no-go. Voegeli said that shot goes to the next person in line.

“We have been able to match our doses with our invites very closely. So when it gets to the end of the day or the end of the week, really every dose is spoken for and used,” he said.

He said hunting down doses in Dane County is taking a shot in the dark.

“I’m glad that people want the vaccine and we will have eventually vaccine for everybody. It’s just going to take some time and so we’re just asking for patience,” Voegeli said.

Rock County public health officials said they’ve seen this same trend in their area.

This week, Gov. Tony Evers said all Wisconsinites over 16 years old will be eligible for the COVID vaccine by May.

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