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People living in US illegally have trouble getting COVID-19 vaccine

3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago Tuesday, April 20 2021 Apr 20, 2021 April 20, 2021 6:33 AM April 20, 2021 in News - Local

Some people say they are having trouble getting the COVID-19 vaccine because they are in the country illegally. 

Neri, a noncitizen, told Channel 5 News she heard of an incident in Mission where someone was kicked out due to their immigration status. Neri says many noncitizens are scared to go to vaccine centers where they are asked for any information.

The owner of Lee’s Pharmacy in McAllen said they ask for insurance information, but only so that they can get paid for the labor costs associated with giving the vaccine.

“All of that requires a huge number of man hours to prepare the vaccines and get them to that point,” said Lee’s Pharmacy Owner Daniel Vela.

READ ALSO: 'Should not have happened': UT Health RGV apologizes for denying COVID-19 vaccine to people over proof of residency  

And if someone doesn’t have insurance, Vela says they will still give them a vaccine. You just have to let them know.

“We have not turned down a single person who comes to our facility to get a vaccine,” Vela said.

Vaccine providers have to let the government know how many people they vaccinate who don't have insurance so that they can then get reimbursed.

Channel 5 News reached out to Walgreens and CVS Pharmacy, who are also asking for insurance, and they said it’s for the same reasons as Lee’s Pharmacy.

Channel 5 News also reached out to the Texas Department of State Health and Services, who released the following statement:

“DSHS does not require state issued identification or a social security number in order to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccine providers may request identification, if they choose, however DHS reminds providers that it is possible not all vaccine eligible individuals may have this type of identification and it should not be a barrier to getting vaccinated.”

DSHS also says if you are a noncitizen and are denied the vaccine because of your lack of identification, you can report the incident to them by going onto dshs.texas.gov.

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