By Charlie De Mar

CHICAGO (CBS) — Booking an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccination can be a challenge, but some people are taking a different approach: standing in line for days with no appointments — some not even eligible for the shot.

As the afternoon wore on, the line outside a building at Triton College in River Grove continued to grow to well over 50 people, everyone with the same idea.

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“To try and get a vaccine,” said Dave Moore.

“They will come out and let you know if they have any extras or anything,” said Amy Voyles.

Inside the college is one of Cook County’s vaccine sites.

There were plenty of eligible people coming and going for their shots Friday. It’s appointment only. But not a single person in line had an appointment. They were hoping for no shows and cancelations — a chance to get immunized with a dose that may otherwise end up in the trash.

“They’d rather stick them in arms than get rid of them,” said Moore.

“We thought to give it a shot,” said Marley Berk.

And for some the chance to get a left over vaccine and contribute in a small way to building herd immunity has become a daily quest.

“I came on Tuesday night,” said Todd Nelson.

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“Saturday and everyday this week except Monday,” said Voyles.

Nelson has a vaccine appointment next week, but he is in a rush to get his shot.

“My wife is pregnant,” he said. “She’s due any day now.” 

Though far back in line, he said he felt optimistic.

“Because you just never know what your chances are,” he said.

Voyles, who has tried unsuccessfully this week to get a shot, lined up at 3 Friday afternoon with only one person ahead of her. She said she was hopeful.

But As the sun set and nearly three hours passed, a nurse announced that there were no extra shots that day.

Though disappointed and defeated the group said they will try again another day.

“There’s people who have it far worse,” said Nelson.

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Some medical ethical experts do raise some concern that this system of finding  an extra dose could reward those who are better at tracking down the vaccine instead of prioritizing those most in need of protection.

Charlie De Mar