‘Vaccine lurkers’ wait in parking lots for extra doses at closing time of Ohio’s distribution locations

Lurkers know vaccine has a shelf life of only a few hours

‘Vaccine lurkers’ wait in parking lots for extra doses at closing time of Ohio’s distribution locations
'Vaccine Lurkers' essentially cutting in line to get vaccinated (Source: Vic Gideon)

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - They show up at vaccine distribution centers at closing time, lurking in the parking lot to see if there are extra doses of vaccine.

“I don’t believe that’s a concept we would want folks to subscribe to because I don’t know that would be very effective to the general public in that approach,” says Jason Briscoe, director of pharmacy at Discount Drug Mart.

‘Vaccine lurkers’ wait in parking lots for extra doses at closing time of Ohio’s distribution locati

Locations like Discount Drug Mart operate on appointment only, but situations arise where they might have an extra dose.

“As soon as we mix a vial, the clock starts to tick on that vial and all doses within are only good for six hours,” says Briscoe. “So if it’s 8:30 p.m. and we don’t have additional scheduled appointments, we’re going to be working on standby lists for those who might be in the neighborhood to give them a quick call and see if they can swing by.”

It’s cutting in line, and essentially, a dumpster dive for vaccine.

Two things have to happen for this plan to work.

“Number one, if that person would be eligible in accordance with the very specific guidelines put forth by the state,” says Briscoe. “And two, we would have exhausted our standby list of folks that we committed to in calling in the event that we’re trying to avoid wasting a dose. If both those events would have occurred, then we could vaccine that person.”

Briscoe says they haven’t seen any of this activity at their facilities, but they do everything they can to make sure not a drop of vaccine gets wasted.

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