How some people are skipping the line and getting the COVID vaccine even though they are not yet eligible

How some people are skipping the line and getting the COVID vaccine even though they are not yet eligible
Moderna and now Pfizer announcing they are working on a booster shot just in case the variants take hold in the community. (Source: WBRC)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Some people are skipping the line and getting the COVID-19 vaccine, even though they are not yet eligible in the state, and health leaders said it’s fair.

“If we have extra doses at the end of the day and we have persons who are primarily in additional groups, and that includes persons who may be under 75 or have an ongoing health problem being high risk, if they are willing to take the extra dose, which is a valid dose, then we will give it,” explained deputy health officer Dr. Karen Landers.

According to Landers if the extra dose is not given to someone they’ll have to throw them out and that’s not an option.

The extra doses don’t only come from people not showing up for appointments.

The state health department administers the Moderna’s vaccine. Landers said there are usually 10 doses in one vial but sometimes they can pull out an 11th dose.

Pfizer’s vials usually yield 5 doses, according to Landers-- but they’ve come up with a low volume syringe that helps pull six doses per vial.

Landers says that giving out extra doses to anyone available is fair.

“We want people to be vaccinated and we don’t want to waste a dose of vaccine and so far in Alabama, we have not wasted a dose,” said Landers.

But don’t go camping out at your local health department.

“If we have persons who just show up and they have no reason to be in a risk category, we’re not giving the vaccine on a random basis,” Landers explained.

Landers said the number of extra doses varies by the day from none to a dozen.

Once a person is vaccinated a second dose is reserved for them.

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