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‘Vaccine hunters’ get vaccine ahead of schedule in Las Vegas

Carol H. provided this picture of her vaccination record, a popular photo which are popping up on social media regarding the COVID-19 vaccine effort.
Flu Vaccine
Posted at 9:17 PM, Feb 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-02 10:36:44-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The hunt for the coronavirus vaccine in Southern Nevada continues either by appointment or for some, it’s being in the right place at the right time.

RELATED: Confusion, cancellations of COVID-19 vaccine appointments continue in Las Vegas

Mark West is one of those people in Las Vegas who have been able to get their COVID-19 vaccine without an appointment, and without even meeting the state’s current qualifications to get the vaccine.

On Jan. 16, West says he got in at Cashman Center.

“I was hanging around the door at the end of the day,” says West. “What they’ll do is go look for anybody who is available, like someone who drove someone down.”

This as many who are actually qualified to receive the vaccine in Nevada haven’t got their chance.

RELATED: Cashman Center to offer appointment-only COVID-19 vaccinations next week

As of Monday afternoon, Nevada ranks the second-worst state for vaccines distributed per 100,000 and the sixth-worst state for vaccines administered per 100,000.

“People are frustrated that they see people on social media say they got a shot, meanwhile their 90-year-old mother is in a nursing home and still hasn’t gotten the shot,” says Dr. Daliah Wachs.

While these "vaccine hunters" are under fire for essentially cutting in front of the line, they are preventing waste.

“They’re not going to break out dozens and dozens at the end of the day for people standing around, they just don’t want to throw out the five or six or eight that might get lost,” says West.

RELATED: Additional appointments are available now at Doolittle Senior Center

Waste is something we can't have, according to the state’s COVID-19 Task Force Director Caleb Cage.

“Our allocation from the federal government is not enough to meet our needs or our capacity at the state level,” says Cage.

The Southern Nevada Health District tells 13 Action News that its staff would not let any doses go to waste at its clinics, and there may have been a few instances where someone had the chance to get vaccinated for the sole purpose that doses would not go unused.