I was offered a covid vaccine even though I’m young and healthy. Here’s how I did it.

Coronavirus vaccine

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I had been trying for three days to get a coronavirus vaccine after learning you could score one just by hovering near a pharmacy around closing time. It was like going to a bakery at the end of the day and getting offered the extra goodies that would otherwise be tossed in the trash. 

On Wednesday, just two people were ahead of me in line at the Giant Food pharmacy in Southeast Washington, DC. It was also around the same time that a violent pro-Trump mob was making its way to the Capitol just blocks away in what will now occupy history books as one of the darkest days in modern American politics. 

As I waited in line, knowing only a handful of shots would be leftover that day, I scrolled through Twitter and wondered whether I should abandon the mission and run instead to the Capitol to cover the events unfolding. 

I stayed.

I wanted to understand first-hand how otherwise young and healthy people are finding a back route to access the scarce vaccine, which right now offers the best chance of digging the US out of the deadly pandemic. How much effort and doggedness does it require?

For the most part, only healthcare workers and nursing home residents can qualify. Other vulnerable people can get it, depending on their state guidelines. Although I spend a lot of time in the hallways of Congress where numerous lawmakers have tested positive, I’m young, white, healthy, and do not live with older adults or children. That means my risk of severe complications from COVID-19 or passing it on to vulnerable family members is low.

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It could take months before my turn comes based on the current priority lists, although federal officials have encouraged states to rethink their strategies to avoid waste.

In my efforts to get a shot, I visited Safeway and Giant Food pharmacies because DC specifically tapped them to help administer the vaccine to healthcare workers. But every place is dealing with leftover vaccines differently, including by throwing them out. 

The massive vaccine rollout has been slow and messy. And at the end of each day, some pharmacies and hospitals are finding themselves with extra shots, sometimes because healthcare workers or others on the priority lists canceled or skipped their appointments. 

That means the leftover vaccines with their short shelf-lives either would have to go into the trash or be given to people who just happened to be in the building at the time. This opening makes it possible for anyone to get coronavirus shots in DC so long as they are willing to wait or get lucky. 

‘It’s worth a shot.’ 

I started calling eight different Giant and Safeway pharmacies around DC on January 4. The phone lines were busy for a couple of pharmacies. When I did get through, the pharmacists were courteous and informative.

One said she’d already received 100 calls just that morning asking about the leftover shots.

I hopped into …read more

Source:: Businessinsider – Politics

      

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