Tags: Health Topics | Homeland Security | Immigration | Trump Administration | Vaccines | Cold/Flu | cbp

CBP: Immigrants in Custody Won't Receive Flu Vaccine

a nurse prepares a flu shot for a girl patient holding up her left sleeve
(Owen Humphreys/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 20 August 2019 05:23 PM

Immigrants being detained by Customs and Border Patrol will not be vaccinated against the flu virus, a CBP spokeswoman told several news outlets.

"In general, due to the short term nature of CBP holding and the complexities of operating vaccination programs, neither CBP nor its medical contractors administer vaccinations to those in our custody," the spokeswoman said.  

Migrants are only supposed to be held in CBP custody for 72 hours or less but often remain there longer.

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University and an adviser the US Centers for Disease Control and Protection, told KPLR11 said CBP should still be able to vaccinate immigrants.

"I think their answer is completely inappropriate," he said.

"They ought to be able to do this. They create facilities that encourage the spread of infectious agents, with flu at the top of the list."

Annual vaccination against seasonal influenza is recommended for all persons over the age of six months, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Since December, three children in U.S. custody have died after contracting the flu.

An influx of immigrants crossing the border has led to dangerous overcrowding of facilities, making it easy to spread infectious diseases from person to person.

"There's a number of things that we can do to prevent deaths and infection," Dr. Julie Linton, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Immigrant Child and Family Health, told CNBC. "Those do not include holding children in cage-like facilities and warehouses."

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Customs and Border Patrol will not be vaccinating immigrant detainees against the flu virus, according to a CBP spokeswoman.
cbp, flu, border patrol, detention centers, illegal immigration
Tuesday, 20 August 2019 05:23 PM
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