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‘Vaccine hunters,’ explained

‘Vaccine hunters’ are seeking out shots ahead of schedule

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A pharmacist prepares a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Summit Senior Living in Kearns on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021.

A pharmacist prepares a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Summit Senior Living in Kearns on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

People across the country are engaged in a new practice — vaccine hunting.

What is a ‘vaccine hunter’ exactly?

CNN reports that “vaccine hunters” look to game the system of getting a vaccine. They skip the line by waiting at pharmacies or clinics for leftover vaccines.

  • “They see it as a win-win: They get vaccinated and a precious dose of the COVD-19 vaccine doesn’t end up in the trash,” according to CNN.

That said, the decision is because the release of the vaccine hasn’t gone as fast as many had hoped, CNN reports.

  • “The lucky — and privileged — few who get vaccinated early assure what they’re doing isn’t wrong, although it certainly feels unfair to those who don’t have the time or resources to ‘hunt’ for their own,” according to CNN.
  • Hunters reportedly feel justified in their actions because they don’t let the vaccines expire.

Similar to vaccine tourism

Americans have been traveling across the country in recent days to get the COVID-19 vaccine, which is an experience being called “vaccine tourism,” as I wrote for the Deseret News.

  • “Frustrated by crashing appointment websites, shortages of COVID-19 shots and a patchwork of confusing eligibility rules, people with time and money are heading out of town in pursuit of a potentially lifesaving inoculation,” Bloomberg reports.
  • These tourists have been visiting Miami, Hawaii, Colorado, New York City, New Jersey and Connecticut, per Bloomberg.