If I hear at a grocery store that has extras that are going to waste, is it fair for me to get one, even if it’s not my turn?
The panel was unanimous. “100% yes,” says Lázaro-Muñoz. If a dose is truly in danger of going to waste, and you’re there and you want it, you should take it. Still the ethicists cited caveats…
“If you do take it, you are contributing to decreasing the risk of getting COVID yourself, and the risk others may face by interacting with you,” Lázaro-Muñoz adds.
But even if the move is ethically acceptable, there could be other things you could try that would be ethically preferable, Faden says. For instance, “If you’ve got a colleague or a family member of a neighbor who’s already in a priority group, and you can call them up and help them get there, that’s better,” she says. Or if you have a friend at higher risk than you, say with a serious comorbidity, matching them with the “extra” dose would also be preferable, even if they’re not yet officially eligible for a vaccine.