NewsLocal News


Lakeside woman, COVID study participant frustrated by 'useless' vaccination card

Kari Johnston took part in AstraZeneca vaccine trial
Lakeside woman, COVID study participant frustrated by 'useless' vaccination card
Posted at 3:52 PM, May 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-10 20:43:14-04

LAKESIDE, Calif. (KGTV) - A Lakeside woman and local COVID-19 vaccine trial participant says she's frustrated by what she calls her "useless" vaccination card.

Last year, Kari Johnston was one of more than 1,600 local residents who signed up for the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine trial. She got two doses, one in December, and one in January.

“I wanted to volunteer because I wanted to get back to normal. I figured I could help,” said Johnston.

While the vaccine has been approved by the World Health Organization, it hasn’t received approval in the U.S.

In early April, the study was unblinded. She learned she did receive the vaccine and was mailed a clinical trial vaccination card one week later.

“Looked like the vaccine card. Looked like I was golden and good to go,” said Johnston.

Within days, Johnston realized quickly, she wasn’t. A season ticket holder for the Padres, Johnston’s seat is in the vaccinated section.

She says her team membership representative told her the vaccine card wouldn’t be accepted.

“She said, ‘I’m so sorry. I just spoke to the legal team, they said absolutely not. Per state guidelines … it’s not a CDC-approved vaccination card,” said Johnston.

So instead, she’s had to show a negative COVID-19 test for every game she’s attended this year.

“I do feel a little bit like a second-class citizen,” said Johnston.

With guidelines for the usage of vaccination cards still being formed, from air travel and cruises to concerts, Johnston is worried she’ll be left behind.

“Honestly, my card is totally useless,” said Johnston.

Doctors told Johnston it’s too soon for her to receive a different vaccine, so a CDC vaccination card isn’t in her near future.

“Makes me concerned I may be limited on where I can go if, I want to go places,” said Johnston.

She feels she’s being punished for doing her part.

“Not that I’m looking for a pat on the back, but I did this so we can get back to normal. Now I’m kind of stuck. I can’t get back to normal,” said Johnston.

A Padres spokesperson says the team will continue to follow state guidelines, but are willing the address unique situations on a case-by-case basis and will be reaching out to Johnston to 'address' her situation.

Early Monday evening, Johnston says a Padres representative contacted her and confirmed her vaccination card would now be accepted.

ABC 10news reached out to the CDC for a comment and is waiting to hear back.