By CBS3 Staff

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Determination to get an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine is causing some people to do something that they’re actually being asked not to do. There are a lot of questions about what’s allowed when it comes to being able to get the show.

Officials warn vaccine tourism, traveling for the shots, will only continue to surge as supplies run short.

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“There will be enough vaccine for all of us that want it, but there is not enough today,” Montgomery County Commissioner Dr. Val Arkoosh said.

As frustration mounts over accessibility to the COVID-19 vaccine, a new trend is gaining momentum — vaccine tourism, crossing over county and even state lines to get the shot.

“We know that Pennsylvanians are ready for the vaccine and we are working on ways to increase access,” Pennsylvania Department of Health Senior Advisor Lindsey Mauldin said.

In late January, Gov. Tom Wolf said that Pennsylvania doesn’t prohibit state hopping, but other states are starting to. So what’s allowed and what’s not?

Pennsylvania’s Department of Health told Eyewitness News that “you can cross county or state lines to receive a vaccine. An individual does not need to show proof of residency.”

To that, New Jersey’s Department of Health said, “Vaccine sites can ask individuals to verbally verify that he/she lives, works, or is being educated in New Jersey, but proof of residency is not required. You can get a vaccine at a site outside of your home county.”

And finally, Delaware’s Department of Health said, “Out-of-state residents must show proof of employment or proof that they access their health care here (for instance your primary care doctor or pharmacy is here) in order to get vaccinated in Delaware.”

“Since Pennsylvania went to 65-plus, our phones have been ringing off the hook,” Marc Ost of Eric’s RX said.

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Eric’s RX is a Montgomery County pharmacy offering the vaccine. They see the gap every day.

“Just to give you some numbers, we release about 200 appointments every few days, and of those 200 appointments, we had 20,000 people trying to book it,” Ost said.

Finally, if and when you do get an appointment, officials are urging everyone not to share online links.

“People are taking these links and posting them on social media, and this creates the opportunity for people to jump the line and for people who are not eligible to register,” Arkoosh said.

Popular warm-weather states like Florida have already banned out-of-state vaccines.

CBS3’s Alicia Roberts reports.


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