A San Fernando Valley mother celebrated she was vaccinated against COVID-19 days after the woman, who is undocumented, was turned away at a Rite Aid in Mission Hills when she presented her foreign consular ID for identification.
His son, Sebastián Araujo, took to social media and caught the attention of Eyewitness News and government leaders such as California’s 29th District Representative Tony Cárdenas, who said legal status is not required in the country to be vaccinated.
“That is not a requirement at all at the federal, state or local level and that organization has been told very clearly that this was wrong and they immediately apologized for doing it, but it left the woman very distraught,” said Representative Cárdenas.
Sebastian’s mother is not alone.
Just days after the Eyewitness News report on the Mission Hills incident aired on Monday, another undocumented woman, this time in southern Orange County, was denied the COVID-19 vaccine twice Thursday, at a Rite Aid in Laguna Niguel.
She did not want to go to the camera, but provides childcare to the Rager family, who were heartbroken by the humiliation she suffered. His five-year-old nanny was left crying.
The father of the family, Kevin Rager, gave an interview to Eyewitness News via Zoom.
San Fernando Valley Family Raising Awareness After Undocumented Mother Denied COVID Vaccine
“These kinds of things should never happen to an individual no matter where they come from. I come from an immigrant family. I married an immigrant and things like this just shouldn’t happen in our day, especially with the guidelines that exist now.” Rager said.
Rager gave her employee a letter verifying that she was monitoring her children, but that, combined with an out-of-state ID, wasn’t enough.
The pharmacist insisted on a social security / card, told the woman that the priority is for U.S. citizens, and then repeated this inaccurate information over the phone to the Ragers.
When researching the guidelines, Rager was surprised to find the Eyewitness News report of a similar incident online a few days earlier at Rite Aid in Mission Hills.
“I just want the government or companies to send information to their employees saying that this kind of behavior, you know, is just not tolerated. These questions should not be asked of any individual and our entire country needs to be vaccinated, so I don’t see why. someone should be denied when they really want to get a vaccine, “Rager said.
In both cases, Rite Aid representatives contacted the parties involved to apologize.
Sebastian’s mother got her chance at a different Rite Aid than the one where she was turned down.
There were clear changes on the company’s website.
Where a driver’s license and social security card were once listed as acceptable forms of government-issued identification, now a social security card is not mentioned and a note has been added that reads: “You will not be turned away if you do not have a photo ID or insurance “.
In emails and over the phone, a Rite Aid spokesperson admitted mistakes were made and said that after the Mission Hills incident, staff were retrained, but why it happened again in Orange County was still under investigation Friday.
Rite Aid rescheduled a vaccination appointment for the family’s child care provider later that week.
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