Right place, right time for recipients of 'leftover' COVID vaccine doses

A handful of people at the right place and at the right time received leftover COVID-19 vaccine doses at Seminole County's Oviedo Mall vaccine site.

"We had seven doses and we ended up giving the seven doses to individuals with immune-compromised conditions," said Alan Harris, Emergency Manager for Seminole County.

Seminole County’s head of emergency management Alan Harris says some appointment no-shows, resulted in the extra doses, so, they turned to shoppers.

"As they were coming through the mall, if they were saying ‘hey, what’s going on here’ we were able to provide vaccinations to those individuals," said Harris.

The doses were going to expire within hours, so Harris said his team bent the rules to not waste the vaccine.

"We had to deviate from the priority 1A but we felt that it was more important to vaccinate and save those individual’s lives than to obviously discard it," said Harris.

Now, Seminole County has a different plan in place.

"We have a list of assisted living facilities and nursing homes, so at the end of the day, if there are any leftover, we’re going to go to an assisted living facility or nursing home," said Harris.

That way, the county vaccinates within the state-mandated priority group.

"We also prevent people from coming out and getting their heartbroken because there is just nothing for them at the end of the day," said Harris.

Harris urges people not to show up to a vaccination site looking for leftover shots. Orlando Health also discouraging walk-ins. The health system tells FOX 35 News, there’s no way to guarantee vaccines will be left at the end of the day.

Orlando resident Daniel Greynolds wishes there was a waitlist for the extra doses.

"Have a standby list, so you stand over here, wait in line over here, just in case and if there’s no-shows, they have so many vaccines available so ‘ya’ll can come on up’ and issue you you’re vaccines," said Greynolds.

At the Orange County Convention Center vaccine site, they’ve only had a few leftover doses one day last week, according to the Florida Department of Health Orange County Office. There were no patients on location, so those went to the Department of Health staff already at the site.

Tune in to FOX 35 Orlando for the latest Central Florida news.