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Pharmacy Apologizes After Denying COVID-19 Vaccine To Illegal Immigrants

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Kaylee Greenlee Immigration and Extremism Reporter
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Rite Aid apologized to two undocumented immigrants who were denied COVID-19 vaccines in California, ABC News reported Sunday.

The women were “mistakenly” rejected from receiving the vaccine in two separate incidents this month and later invited back to be vaccinated, ABC News reported. Pharmacy workers reportedly did not adhere to vaccine eligibility protocols, Rite Aid Spokesperson Christopher Savarese told ABC News.

“In such an unprecedented rollout, there are going to be mistakes and there will be always areas for providers to improve — we’re seeking out those opportunities every day,” a Rite Aid official said, ABC News reported.

The incidents were “isolated” and stores will go back over protocols with employees, Savarese said, according to NBC News. The pharmaceutical company apologized to the women after people close to them told a local ABC affiliate about the incidents.

“This is very important to us that this is corrected. Both of the situations that we’re talking about have been resolved, and both of those people will be getting their vaccine at Rite Aid,” Savarese said, NBC News reported.

One of the women was refused a vaccine after an employee asked for a Social Security card, her son Sebastian Araujo said, ABC News reported. (RELATED: As Vaccinations Ramp Up, One-Third Of Americans Still Say They Don’t Want One)

The other woman was denied a vaccine twice in one day despite providing an out-of-state identification and letter from her employer, ABC News reported. She was asked to provide a Social Security card and told U.S. citizens are prioritized for vaccinations.

President Joe Biden’s stimulus plan allocated funding for vaccinating people against COVID-19 regardless of their immigration status, according to GoodRx.

The U.S. has around 30 million ready doses of several versions of the coronavirus vaccine, and millions more of the unapproved AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in storage, The New York Times reported. AstraZeneca announced Monday its version of the vaccine is 79% effective against symptomatic COVID-19 cases and reported no safety concerns.

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