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'Vaccine Hunters' say they are making sure vaccine doses are not wasted

"Vaccine Hunters" say their mission is important, making sure the right information is available and trying to ensure not one vaccine dose is wasted.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn — "Vaccine Hunters" is what they call themselves, and their goal is to help give correct vaccine information, and more importantly, make sure no dose goes to waste. 

The hunters said because of the group, lives are being saved.

"The risk of me getting COVID and that killing me outweighed the risk of the bladder cancer killing me. So, it's that serious to me and my family," said Lisa Brocco.

For Brocco, the group is helping her get the ones closest to her vaccinated.

"So far, six people I know have gotten it from this site," Brocco said.

The group answers questions about vaccines, helps people find vaccine locations and makes sure, no dose is thrown away.

"We don't want one dose going to waste at all. It's not stealing vaccine; it's getting everybody safe as soon as possible," said Brocco.

Vaccine Hunter Melanie Evans said the core of their mission is making sure people have the right information.

"The real heart of the group is just to help people all over Tennessee to locate a vaccine, helping people navigate the system," Evans said.

They say it's a way to get the vaccine, that's not as complicated as going through all of the layers that the state has created.

"It's just a way to figure out without dealing with all you know, the red tape and technology, a place where people are committed to what you're committed to," Brocco said.

Evans has serval immunocompromised kids, joining this group was a life or death decision for her.

"My family has several medically fragile children. So as their caregivers, that was very important for us, their parents to be able to get our vaccinations as soon as possible" Evans said.

They said it’s better to have the vaccine in our arms than doses in the trash can.

"Be ready be on standby because the last thing we want is these vaccines to go to waste," said Evans.

Most states, including Tennessee, don't track how many vaccines go to waste. According to the hunters, if it was just one, that would still be one too many.

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