‘Vaccine hunters’ using internet to find leftover COVID-19 shots

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Some Floridians, who don’t entirely meet the state’s requirements for the COVID-19 vaccine, are scouring the internet to get inoculated.

One Facebook group calls itself “Florida Vaccine Hunters.” It’s a group in which people share where there are extra doses of the vaccine available.

Katelyn Browne, who lives in Orlando, said she found out there were extras at Edward Waters College, and she didn’t want any of the vaccine to go to waste.

“I got the shot and I got scheduled for the second one,” Browne said.

She found a website -- vaccinehunter.org. The website allows the user to find their state, then it pulls up a link to the Florida Vaccine Hunters private Facebook group that the user can request to join.

Once Browne learned there were extra shots at EWC, she took a drive to Jacksonville.

“There was about five of us and they just said, ‘Oh we have extras, please come in and get them,’” Browne said.

News4Jax spoke with Jacksonville Dr. Mohammed Reza.

“I would think so,” Reza said. “The goal is to get the shots into arms because there is this variant, the UK variant, that spreading across Florida and across the country so the quicker we can get people vaccinated the safer we are as a community.”

There has been some controversy online about non qualified people coming to Jacksonville to get the vaccine, especially in the northside community where it had been a struggle to get access to the vaccine.

Mayor Lenny Curry’s chief of staff sent me this statement that reads: “Governor DeSantis and Mayor Curry continue to collaborate on how to efficiently distribute this lifesaving vaccine to the citizens of Jacksonville, including those in economically distressed areas. Our state and federal partners are maximizing individuals getting the vaccine and ensuring at the end of the day there is zero waste.”


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