“Right now it would be too difficult to go back to 120,000 people and redo their cards. People have to understand we’re still in the middle of a pandemic, where resources are stretched so thin, we’re focused on battling COVID-19,” San Mateo County Manager Mike Callagy said of the vaccinated Californians who only received photocopies of their vaccinations.
As some businesses in the Bay Area ramp up vaccine requirements, people who received their shots at a mass vaccination site in San Mateo County are struggling to book trips and others want access to the proper cards before they hit any roadblocks.
One woman, Jane Bertelsen of Foster City, said she recently tried to book a cruise that required proof of vaccination, but that photocopies of her card on two sheets of paper did not qualify.
“And they’re saying, ‘No, that won’t do at all, you have to have the CDC card, we will not take a photocopy of the card on a piece of copy paper,'” Bertelsen recounted to ABC7 of trying to book the trip.
Those who received only photocopies are trying to get their hands on CDC cards, and are speaking out about the problems they’re facing.
“I’d like to have it so that when things do calm down, then you know we can travel,” Bruce Hegedus of San Mateo said. He added that when he tried to get the proper card, “They said we’re not giving out cards. And I thought to myself, whoa.”
While another woman, Pauline Bischoff, was able to get the proper CDC card after she brought her paper copy to a clinic administering the vaccines. She was told, however, that others wouldn’t get so lucky.
“She didn’t look very happy and just kind of looked at me and then said, ‘Okay, this is – you’re going to be the last one I’m going to do this for. And you don’t tell anybody about this,'” Bischoff recounted how she was able to get the proper card.
Though officials say they can’t give out the proper cards at this time, residents will be able to receive proper documentation if they get their booster shot, ABC7 reported. County officials will also consider requests if a card is essential for travel.
“I think most people were just thrilled to be able to get the vaccine out as quickly as possible and save lives. And that’s what we were really focused on was saving lives,” said Callagy.
The revelation comes after nearby San Francisco announced a vaccine mandate in order for people to go to bars, restaurants, clubs, theaters, and gyms.
“We know that for our city to bounce back from the pandemic and thrive, we need to use the best method we have to fight COVID-19 and that’s vaccines,” said Mayor London Breed of the order earlier this month. “Vaccines are our way out of the pandemic, and our way back to a life where we can be together safely.”