How I got an overflow COVID vaccine in Washington State!

I am in my early 30s but was able to get a Moderna vaccine in Washington. How you may ask?

Vaccine Card from CDC

Its simple, the logistics around the current vaccines mean that pharmacists have a tough choice to make at the end of the end, either dump the vaccines or give them to any available arms.

There is a new group of hackers looking to get their hands on these vaccines. Facebook groups now exist where people hunt for waste vaccines, get on waiting lists and talk to pharmacies to see if they can get a vaccine that was going to be thrown away.

Here is how I did it, I scoured mass vaccination site announcements on the web. I would ignore the ones close to urban areas for two reasons. Urban people are more savvy about these things so you have more competition and in general counties near urban areas have been more snobbish about eligibility even though it may mean not saving the vaccines. Now needless to say, I dont have any data to prove this.

I found a few semi rural vaccine sites near the Seattle area namely in Auburn. I am happy to report on my first try, I got the vaccine.

I reached a couple of hours before the vaccination center would close and asked for leftover doses. I was redirected to a waiting area wherein we had around 30-40 cars waiting already. As the site was closing, they redirected everyone into the center. Turns out it was our lucky day and they had hundreds of doses left that day.

I was able to get the Moderna shot and they even scheduled the second shot for me. For a few hours of driving and waiting, I got a vaccine and a sore arm 😀

I would like to warn that YMMV, I have shared this store with many friends. While many of them were able to replicate my success, some of them were not. It all depends on when you show up, how the appointments are going that day and the demographics of the people waiting with you.

When the waiting line is cleared, the volunteers generally go in decreasing order of age. Let me know if you have any questions or concerns about this process.


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