A website is creating a standby list for leftover COVID-19 vaccines for eligible people still waiting.
"Leftovers happen. People miss their appointments. Vials come with extra doses. Any thawed vials must be used within 6 hours, or they get thrown out," Dr. B stated on its website.
According to the site, users can fill out an online form to determine their eligibility in getting the vaccine. Health providers will alert the site when they have leftover, unused vaccines. The site will then send out an alert to eligible users to make an appointment to get the vaccine.
According to the website, more than 858,000 people have signed up for the service.
"You have people who want the vaccines for them or their loved ones, and your vaccine providers want to do the right thing, but they need the appropriate tools to deal with the operational challenges of vaccinating the whole country," website founder Dr. Cyrus Massoumi told USA Today.
According to the outlet, the service is currently available in Arkansas and New York but will soon expand to 30 states within the coming weeks.
"The system is designed to make sure that no dose gets wasted," Massoumi also told USA Today.
Once the seal on a vial of a COVID-19 vaccine dose is broken, it must be used within six hours. The ticking deadline has created havoc in parts of the country.
A Houston area health department doctor was accused by prosecutors of stealing nine doses of coronavirus vaccine from a damaged vial and administering them to family and friends. Dr. Hasan Gokal’s attorney insisted he did nothing wrong and was only trying to ensure the vaccine was not wasted. A judge dismissed the theft charge.
Last month, a group of health care workers in Boston made news for driving around looking to vaccinate elderly people before doses expired.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has recommended providers use "a flexible approach" when administering the vaccine if it's about to go to waste.
According to the CDC, more than 32 million people have been fully vaccinated in the U.S. representing less than 10% of the population.
President Joe Biden said the U.S. expects to take delivery of enough coronavirus vaccine for all adults by the end of May — two months earlier than anticipated — and he pushed states to get at least one shot into the arms of teachers by the end of March to hasten school reopenings.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.