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Local man says lost COVID-19 vaccine card keeping him from booster

Local man says lost COVID-19 vaccine card keeping him from booster
Posted at 7:35 PM, Dec 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-10 00:00:10-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Getting a COVID-19 vaccine booster is easy.

You can visit any of the Corpus Christi-Nueces County Public Health District's free vaccine clinics and show the workers your vaccination record card.

Then, if it's been six months or more since your last shot, you'll receive the booster.

That's if you still have your vaccine card.

Jose Altamirano lost his, and when he went in for his booster at the clinic at the Greenwood Senior Center on Wednesday, it didn't go well.

"They didn’t want to take me in, because I didn’t have my card," he said.

Altamirano is certainly not the only person to lose his or her vaccine card, but those folks can still get their boosters.

“We are not in the business of turning away people," Alternate Public Health Authority Kim Onufrak said. "Our job is to vaccinate the public."

Any COVID-19 vaccine conducted in Texas should be recorded in the Texas Immunization Registry, or ImmTrac.

Workers at the health department's vaccine clinics should be able to access that site and determine someone's eligibility for a booster.

It's all about ensuring that no one receives more doses of the vaccine than what's recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"We are not in the business to do experiments on people," Onufrak said. "So we’re doing everything by CDC guidelines."

It gets trickier if the booster-seeker got his or her vaccine doses in another state or if their shots weren't recorded in ImmTrac for any other reason.

Onufrak recommends contacting the provider who administered the shots to see if they can provide some form of documentation.

Altamirano says workers at the clinic he went to refused to see if his records were in the system.

And when he reached out to the hospital in Beeville where he got his vaccine doses, he says he was told he'd have to request his shot records online — something he says he's technologically not savvy enough to do.

He's hopeful a family member will help him out, but until then, he has some advice.

“For God’s sake, don’t lose those cards for the first shots," Altamirano said. "Because you will have problems, and that’s where I’m at right now."