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When is it okay to cut the COVID-19 vaccine line?

People are anxiously trying to find a vaccine appointment, and some are hearing that people are cutting the line. There’s not much vaccine providers can do.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Having three safe and effective vaccines a year into the pandemic is an incredible feat. 

But the rollout has been frustrating and stressful for so many people. It started off slow, with only health care workers eligible. But as supplies grow and more groups get their turn in line there are concerns people are getting impatient and some are cutting the line.

There are prioritizations for a reason. But speed is a huge factor in the rollout so vaccine providers aren't checking on eligibility leaving some wiggle room for those who may want to cheat the system.

They say patience is a virtue but some claim not when it comes to getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Millions of people are stretching the truth and getting the vaccine,” Maria Butler from Indian Trail said.

There are concerns that people are cutting the line despite the need for prioritizations.

“It’s not clear that you can have a tight enough reign on this to make it impossible for people to cut the line," Lisa Rasmussen, a philosophy professor at UNC Charlotte, said. "And after that, you have to rely on people's intention to the right thing." 

Rasmussen said getting an appointment has become all-consuming and the lack of availability has made people frantic and desperate.

“There are people who are tweeting whenever they hear about any spots open and there is an entire Facebook page dedicated to people finding vaccine in North and South Carolina," Rasmussen said.

Lying and knowingly cutting the line of course is unethical. But some people may feel better about getting a dose at the end of the day that otherwise may have been wasted.

“It seems that people are doing a lot of work researching online and obviously people who don't have internet don’t have stable internet connection or can't get around are going to be disadvantaged by those kinds of rollouts,” she said.

A lot of people are anxious to get vaccinated, but the state is expecting an increase in supply in the coming weeks and before May 1, everyone will likely become eligible.

Have a relative or friend in another state and want to know when they can get vaccinated? Visit NBC News' Plan Your Vaccine site to find out about each state's vaccine rollout plan.