(CNN) After Sebastian Araujo’s parents spent a week on a waitlist for leftover Covid-19 vaccines, the family was relieved when the pharmacy called to let him know that two spots had opened up.
On Saturday, the trio showed up for their appointments at a Rite Aid in Mission Hills, California, a suburb outside of Los Angeles
But Sebastian’s mom, Graciela, 55, was turned away when she couldn’t provide a state-issued ID or a social security number because she is an undocumented immigrant, he told CNN. Graciela did provide a Matrícula Consular, Mexico’s consular ID, but it didn’t suffice, Araujo said.
Both the Biden administration and the Department of Homeland Security have openly said that undocumented immigrants should get coronavirus vaccines regardless of immigration status.
Federal authorities won’t conduct immigration enforcement operations at vaccine distribution sites or clinics, they say.
Chris Savarese, Rite Aid director of public relations, told CNN in a statement Tuesday:
“In such an unprecedented roll-out, there are going to be opportunities to improve, and we’re seeking those opportunities every day. In this instance, we made a mistake.
“When a customer arrives for their vaccine appointment, we ask for identification to confirm the customer’s appointment.
“In the case where a customer does not have identification, we advise our associates not to turn the customer away.”
Rite Aid’s website says regardless of insurance or Medicare status, they require that you bring a photo ID with you to speed up the appointment.
It also says “you will not be turned away if you do not have a photo ID or insurance.”
“I’m very, very concerned,” Dr. Ranit Mishori, senior medical adviser for Physicians for Human Rights, told CNN in December. “If we are as a country to achieve herd immunity, that means non-citizens who live among us have to be immunized … “
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