SAN DIEGO — People who want to receive a vaccine at a county site should be prepared to show proof of residency or eligibility, according to San Diego County officials. News 8 has received multiple tips from viewers that the super stations have only been checking work documents and not verifying residency.
“We are requiring people to show they live or work in San Diego County and we will continue to do that moving forward,” said Supervisor Nathan Fletcher. “We’re obviously moving at a speed to try and administer so many vaccines that don’t make it possible to stop the entire process to verify what every individual is showing you or telling you is 100% accurate but we’re going to do everything we can to give the highest degree of confidence possible.”
Sharp HealthCare, which runs the county’s Chula Vista super station, said in a statement to News 8 it is not verifying county residency because “there are many health care workers that reside in adjacent counties… They are asked to provide proof of eligibility for our current phase of vaccination.”
The county has tried to strike a balance between speed, access and verification. Supervisor Nora Vargas has repeatedly encouraged seniors who entered the U.S. illegally and live in San Diego to get vaccinated.
Separately, Fletcher said U.S. citizens and permanent residents who live in Mexico are eligible to get vaccinated in San Diego County. He has encouraged the state to allocate more vaccines to the county to accommodate demand. Currently, vaccines from the state are allocated proportionally based on a county’s resident population. It does not account for counties that may have more medical facilities that serve a wider population.
“Not only do we have the population that [the state] show[s] on paper for San Diego County, but we have a sizable number of U.S. persons or legal permanent residents who routinely cross the border to work in San Diego County,” said Fletcher. “We’re hopeful that we can get additional vaccines to try and accommodate and meet that need.”
FULL SHARP STATEMENT:
We closely follow the County’s guidelines to get vaccine into the arms of individuals following the Phases and Tiers as outlined by the County and based on vaccine availability. We do NOT verify residency within the County as there are many health care workers that reside in adjacent counties (Riverside, Orange, or in Baja California) that work in San Diego and are eligible for vaccination.
If someone is able to make an appointment on the County website and has identification that matches their name to the appointment name, then they are asked to provide proof of eligibility for our current phase of vaccination (health care worker, long term care resident, or determine by age appropriate). This documentation includes: a letter from their employer, a current paystub, work badge or other document to suffice as proof of eligibility which may include age as a qualifying factor. We act in good faith that individuals presenting this information are honest in their approach to providing proof.