Despite Flu Outbreaks, CBP Says It Will Not Vaccinate Migrants In Its Care

The agency says volunteers should vaccinate migrants while they are waiting in Mexico.

By Jill AmentNovember 27, 2019 10:58 am,

Around this time last year, flu outbreaks in migrant facilities along the U.S.-Mexico border prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, to recommend the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, or CBP, start giving flu shots to detained migrants. But a new report in the Washington Post says even though flu outbreaks turned deadly in some facilities, CBP rejected the flu shot recommendations.

El Paso-based journalist Bob Moore has been covering the story for the Washington Post. He says flu outbreaks between October of 2018 and June of 2019 corresponded with the traditional flu season, and were exacerbated by crowding large number of migrants into cramped facilities. CBP asked CDC to make recommendations on how to deal wit the outbreaks.

CBP accepted most CDC recommendations, but did not agree to vaccinate migrants as they enter CBP custody. The agency cited logistical difficulties, and said that migrants are not in their custody long enough to be vaccinated.

CBP has not vaccinated migrants during the current flu season. The agency has also declined offers from volunteer doctors to vaccinate migrants being held by CBP in California. The agency suggests volunteer groups vaccinate migrants who are being detained in Mexico.


Written by Shelly Brisbin.