Mutual Member Help: COVID VACC ASAP!

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Lucas61

Active member
Jun 13, 2014
598
23
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retired English teacher (30 years)
Hello All:

I know there are a lot of posts re: the COVID vaccine in this sub-forum. The audience for my post is other DR1 members who seek a vaccine ASAP and are running into problems.

If we can advise each other by way of leads, maybe that will be a help.

So this post is not for the vaccine hesitant but for those who have made up their mind and want to be vaccinated.

There are three options: the Dominican Republic, one’s home country (for me that’s the U.S.), and a third country.

The latest information I gather on the D.R. is that only citizens with a CEDULA are eligible for vaccination. At least that’s the case indicated by the national website, vacunate.gob.do Some weeks back the same site offered passports as an option but that choice has since been deleted. It’s possible that in late Q2 or Q3, when most of the population has been vaccinated, that the national policy on foreigners will change.

And then there is the possibility of jumping the line. My wife’s sister knows a physician who says that she will offer me the SinoPharm vaccination. Maybe you too have someone you know. My view on that is that it cannot be counted on and it’s better to start making serious plans that have a good chance of success.

So, for the time being, I am ruling out the D.R. as being viable except for the slim chance offered by luck and speculation.

Another option is a third country. A few days ago the NYT had an article about “vaccine tourism” in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. Vaccine hesitancy in the general population is high and the writer interviewed medical personnel who are eagerly providing tourists with vaccinations. I explored airfares and COVID testing requirements (American Airlines via MIA) but when I explored hotels, I found that the cheapest was a whopping RD$10,000 per night multiplied by about three weeks for the second injection, which would come to about $3,500 USD, so I ruled out that option.

I hear that China is waving some visa requirements for travel to China if you agree to a vaccination, part of their “vaccine diplomacy” strategy. Their embassy is in Sto. Dom., so this should be easy to investigate. I stayed in Shanghai for several months in hostels at about $8.00 per night and the airfare is cheap, so I’d have no problem doing this. This is still on my list to investigate.

As regards the United States, if that is your home country, I had the idea of waiting for the one jab Johnson and Johnson vacc. and doing a quick turn around via CVS pharmacy in Miami. I began to explore this via the CVS website. That website is blocked in the D.R. To unblock it, use the cross-platform browser, Opera. Go to the Advanced section of settings and turn on the VPN (free), and you will get through.

Bad news! Only FL residents are eligible. When I go to my home state’s site, CA, more bad news. I tried making an appointment at myturn.ca.gov and the only appointments I could find in the state were in the rural area 30 miles from Fresno, an out-of-the-way city. Your home state may have its dedicated website. Additionally, a U.S. mobile phone number was required for identification for CA residents and, obviously, I don’t have that as I live in the D.R. There is a number to call if you don’t have a mobile phone, and I’ll follow up on that. (I can get one when I’m in the U.S.).

I’m fearful that in spite of being a U.S. citizen, the fact that I’m a resident of no state, could be an obstacle. Last year I sold my property in CA and discovered via my C.P.A. that for 12 years that I have been living in the D.R., that I was never a CA resident (per terms of FTB), and that I needlessly paid taxes. I did receive refunds for three years, the maximum, and I no longer pay state taxes. You might want to investigate that angle for your home state if you are paying state taxes . . .

Don’t know yet if I’m between a rock and a hard place: can’t get vaccinated in the D.R. because I’m not a citizen and can’t get vaccinated in my home country because I’m not a state resident.

Then there is the possibility of being vaccinated by your home country’s insurance/Medicare, etc. For me, I have Kaiser Senior Advantage and, thus far, there are no appointments available at Kaiser. I have written membership services. In this case, too, I would spend several thousand dollars for RT airfare as well as a hotel room for a month. I want to be rock solid on an actual vaccination if I’m going to make this sacrifice.

I have also found detailed information about testing requirements to enter the U.S. I did this via documentation at American Airlines. There are about seven tests that have eligibility. I would opt for the rapid antigen rather than PCR, as it’s simply a blood draw and is cheap and has a turn around time of hours. I have had bad experiences with Reference Labs in this country. If I need testing I will try Amadita and compare.

As I’ve enumerated my various attempts, of course, I am speaking for myself. YMMV.

If we can advise each other in a helpful way, I’ll be happy, and I hope you will too.
 

cavok

Silver
Jun 16, 2014
6,024
1,399
113
Not just citizens, if you are a legal resident of the DR with a cedula, you can get the vaccine here.
 

malko

Campesino !! :)
Jan 12, 2013
4,762
394
83
Travel agents here in europe are advertising " jab trips".
2k€, travel and hotel included--- to russia, of all places.
However authorities are warning that spoutnik is not " recognized ".
 

PICHARDO

One Dominican at a time, please!
May 15, 2003
13,265
856
113
Santiago de Los 30 Caballeros
Hello All:

I know there are a lot of posts re: the COVID vaccine in this sub-forum. The audience for my post is other DR1 members who seek a vaccine ASAP and are running into problems.

If we can advise each other by way of leads, maybe that will be a help.

So this post is not for the vaccine hesitant but for those who have made up their mind and want to be vaccinated.

There are three options: the Dominican Republic, one’s home country (for me that’s the U.S.), and a third country.

The latest information I gather on the D.R. is that only citizens with a CEDULA are eligible for vaccination. At least that’s the case indicated by the national website, vacunate.gob.do Some weeks back the same site offered passports as an option but that choice has since been deleted. It’s possible that in late Q2 or Q3, when most of the population has been vaccinated, that the national policy on foreigners will change.

And then there is the possibility of jumping the line. My wife’s sister knows a physician who says that she will offer me the SinoPharm vaccination. Maybe you too have someone you know. My view on that is that it cannot be counted on and it’s better to start making serious plans that have a good chance of success.

So, for the time being, I am ruling out the D.R. as being viable except for the slim chance offered by luck and speculation.

Another option is a third country. A few days ago the NYT had an article about “vaccine tourism” in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. Vaccine hesitancy in the general population is high and the writer interviewed medical personnel who are eagerly providing tourists with vaccinations. I explored airfares and COVID testing requirements (American Airlines via MIA) but when I explored hotels, I found that the cheapest was a whopping RD$10,000 per night multiplied by about three weeks for the second injection, which would come to about $3,500 USD, so I ruled out that option.

I hear that China is waving some visa requirements for travel to China if you agree to a vaccination, part of their “vaccine diplomacy” strategy. Their embassy is in Sto. Dom., so this should be easy to investigate. I stayed in Shanghai for several months in hostels at about $8.00 per night and the airfare is cheap, so I’d have no problem doing this. This is still on my list to investigate.

As regards the United States, if that is your home country, I had the idea of waiting for the one jab Johnson and Johnson vacc. and doing a quick turn around via CVS pharmacy in Miami. I began to explore this via the CVS website. That website is blocked in the D.R. To unblock it, use the cross-platform browser, Opera. Go to the Advanced section of settings and turn on the VPN (free), and you will get through.

Bad news! Only FL residents are eligible. When I go to my home state’s site, CA, more bad news. I tried making an appointment at myturn.ca.gov and the only appointments I could find in the state were in the rural area 30 miles from Fresno, an out-of-the-way city. Your home state may have its dedicated website. Additionally, a U.S. mobile phone number was required for identification for CA residents and, obviously, I don’t have that as I live in the D.R. There is a number to call if you don’t have a mobile phone, and I’ll follow up on that. (I can get one when I’m in the U.S.).

I’m fearful that in spite of being a U.S. citizen, the fact that I’m a resident of no state, could be an obstacle. Last year I sold my property in CA and discovered via my C.P.A. that for 12 years that I have been living in the D.R., that I was never a CA resident (per terms of FTB), and that I needlessly paid taxes. I did receive refunds for three years, the maximum, and I no longer pay state taxes. You might want to investigate that angle for your home state if you are paying state taxes . . .

Don’t know yet if I’m between a rock and a hard place: can’t get vaccinated in the D.R. because I’m not a citizen and can’t get vaccinated in my home country because I’m not a state resident.

Then there is the possibility of being vaccinated by your home country’s insurance/Medicare, etc. For me, I have Kaiser Senior Advantage and, thus far, there are no appointments available at Kaiser. I have written membership services. In this case, too, I would spend several thousand dollars for RT airfare as well as a hotel room for a month. I want to be rock solid on an actual vaccination if I’m going to make this sacrifice.

I have also found detailed information about testing requirements to enter the U.S. I did this via documentation at American Airlines. There are about seven tests that have eligibility. I would opt for the rapid antigen rather than PCR, as it’s simply a blood draw and is cheap and has a turn around time of hours. I have had bad experiences with Reference Labs in this country. If I need testing I will try Amadita and compare.

As I’ve enumerated my various attempts, of course, I am speaking for myself. YMMV.

If we can advise each other in a helpful way, I’ll be happy, and I hope you will too.


Let me send this up the chain! See what it hooks.
 
Aug 21, 2007
2,508
762
113
Thanks for posting this concern. I also had the same concern and considered flying back to my home country, staying for about 5 weeks, and getting the vaccine. The cost is expotential. My kids live in other states, so I cannot stay with them, must stay in my "home" state. We no longer have a house there, just a mailbox.

I have been holding a pity party for myself lately. I have lived in this country for 15 years. Work as a full time volunteer running a registered, Dominican non-profit for the Dominican poor. Have brought into this country hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations for education, to build roads, construct houses, feed the hungry, etc. I am 67 years old. But do not yet qualify for their vaccine, nor know when my "phase" of the process will take place.

All school employees have been vaccinated. We have been educating- with strict protocols- throughout the pandemic, but because we are not part of the Ministry of Education, we were not given the vaccine. As Lucas wrote, some vaccines are being offered to people who do not yet qualify. I personally know a couple who had this experience. The vaccines were being given on the sly by medical personal to friends. I understand that is part of the system here, just like unregistered businesses or haphazard law enforcement.

I tell myself that I do not engage in risky behavior and I live mostly in the outdoors, so I should not be overly concerned. But for some reason, the preoccupation remains like a pesky fly.

If Pichardo can find a solution for us, he would be my hero.
 
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william webster

Platinum
Jan 16, 2009
26,690
2,172
113
I think there's a bit of a lull in the vaccine program right now - 2nd doses going ahead -
1st doses are slower

Some locations were doing foreigners - not all , but some - just a passport req'd
Otherwise, a cedula is needed
 
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windeguy

Platinum
Jul 10, 2004
36,493
2,813
113
Not just citizens, if you are a legal resident of the DR with a cedula, you can get the vaccine here.
I know of two illegal aliens that just got it. No cedula, just US passports. So that web site might say one thing and they did another, at least in Puerto Plata.
 
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Cdn_Gringo

Gold
Apr 29, 2014
8,439
919
113
I haven't heard anything from foreigners lately but many did have success going to the vaccine clinic behind the fire station in Puerto Plata. Some with just a passport. Others with their Cedula. We are still in the inoculation phase for people over 60 as far as I know but if you have health issues you may be permitted to join the line. Calling the clinics just gives them an opportunity to give you incorrect information or to flat out say no. As with most processes here, until you show up and try you don't know if you will be able to succeed. If you are not transportation challenged and can make your way to a clinic, I'd recommend just going and trying to get a shot. I'm not advocating being deceitful and providing false information but you may be successful despite your age and documented status by being there in person ready to go. There is apparently vaccine in the country, so now would be a good time to give it a try. Good luck. The Govt approved clinics will apparently stay open over the Easter holiday.
 
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william webster

Platinum
Jan 16, 2009
26,690
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I expect at the end of the working day, any given clinic might have extra vaccines on hand -
and might give them to the next person who asks....
 
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Russell

Well-known member
Jun 17, 2017
1,056
336
83
In luperon many expats without residence status have received the vaccine just a passport is required.
So far the over 60 group. Myself included.
I can count at least 7 known expats who got vaccinated on Friday past using passports.
 

Lucas61

Active member
Jun 13, 2014
598
23
38
68
retired English teacher (30 years)
Travel agents here in europe are advertising " jab trips".
2k€, travel and hotel included--- to russia, of all places.
However authorities are warning that spoutnik is not " recognized ".
malko, maybe not Russia, but you introduce a good idea. I will try googling "covid 19 vaccine tourism" and see what I come up with.
 

Lucas61

Active member
Jun 13, 2014
598
23
38
68
retired English teacher (30 years)
Thanks for posting this concern. I also had the same concern and considered flying back to my home country, staying for about 5 weeks, and getting the vaccine. The cost is expotential. My kids live in other states, so I cannot stay with them, must stay in my "home" state. We no longer have a house there, just a mailbox.

I have been holding a pity party for myself lately. I have lived in this country for 15 years. Work as a full time volunteer running a registered, Dominican non-profit for the Dominican poor. Have brought into this country hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations for education, to build roads, construct houses, feed the hungry, etc. I am 67 years old. But do not yet qualify for their vaccine, nor know when my "phase" of the process will take place.

All school employees have been vaccinated. We have been educating- with strict protocols- throughout the pandemic, but because we are not part of the Ministry of Education, we were not given the vaccine. As Lucas wrote, some vaccines are being offered to people who do not yet qualify. I personally know a couple who had this experience. The vaccines were being given on the sly by medical personal to friends. I understand that is part of the system here, just like unregistered businesses or haphazard law enforcement.

I tell myself that I do not engage in risky behavior and I live mostly in the outdoors, so I should not be overly concerned. But for some reason, the preoccupation remains like a pesky fly.

If Pichardo can find a solution for us, he would be my hero.
Ditto for Pichardo. You and I, Lindsey, are kind of in the same boat. We've cut our ties with our home country such that returning is a mission. I have no ethical problems with "jumping the line" as long as the vaccination is legitimate after I've vetted the circumstances. When you vaccinate yourself, you protect others as well.
 
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Lucas61

Active member
Jun 13, 2014
598
23
38
68
retired English teacher (30 years)
I think there's a bit of a lull in the vaccine program right now - 2nd doses going ahead -
1st doses are slower

Some locations were doing foreigners - not all , but some - just a passport req'd
Otherwise, a cedula is needed
Any details on these locations, william? And I agree, the present allotment is being used for second doses. Until a single dose jab comes along, if it ever does, we must divide all allotments by two.
 

Lucas61

Active member
Jun 13, 2014
598
23
38
68
retired English teacher (30 years)
I haven't heard anything from foreigners lately but many did have success going to the vaccine clinic behind the fire station in Puerto Plata. Some with just a passport. Others with their Cedula. We are still in the inoculation phase for people over 60 as far as I know but if you have health issues you may be permitted to join the line. Calling the clinics just gives them an opportunity to give you incorrect information or to flat out say no. As with most processes here, until you show up and try you don't know if you will be able to succeed. If you are not transportation challenged and can make your way to a clinic, I'd recommend just going and trying to get a shot. I'm not advocating being deceitful and providing false information but you may be successful despite your age and documented status by being there in person ready to go. There is apparently vaccine in the country, so now would be a good time to give it a try. Good luck. The Govt approved clinics will apparently stay open over the Easter holiday.
Really, that's not a bad idea, going to a place like Puerto Plata and investigating. There's no substitute for "feet on the ground." A complicating factor is bus transportation. I will not take any bus during the pandemic: hermetically sealed; AC: folk breathing the same air; masks off while eating/drinking. It's a very dangerous environment. I will check Uber prices. At least then you can travel with windows half open (for security reasons). I read a physics summary article which explained that if you are a single passenger in a car that you sit in the back diagonally across from the driver. The air currents are bifurcated down the middle.

I have never been to Puerto Plata. Any recommendation on budget stays? I'm used to pensions at RD$500. I can pay more if necessary, including staying at a resort . . .
 
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