No Flu Shots For Detained Migrants, Says “Cruel” Border Patrol

By Jason Silverstein, Aug 20, 2019

CBS News – The U.S. government will not give flu vaccines to migrant families being held in detention centers near the U.S.-Mexico border.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced the decision Tuesday, weeks before the flu season begins.

In a statement to CBS News, a CBP spokesman said:

“In general, due to the short term nature of CBP holding, the time the vaccine takes to begin working, and the complexities of operating vaccination programs, neither CBP nor its medical contractors administer vaccinations to those in our custody.” 

The spokesman did not respond to further questions about the policy.

The U.S. will not provide vaccines for migrants — even after three migrant children have died in the past year from the flu.

Earlier this month, doctors associated with Harvard and Johns Hopkins sent a letter to Congress members calling for an investigation into the health care at migrant detention facilities.

The doctors specifically cited the migrant children who died from the flu, stating that flu deaths “are fairly rare events for children living in the United States.”

“We suspect that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) may not be following best practices with respect to screening, treatment, isolation and prevention of influenza,” the doctors wrote … Read more. 

“This Decision Is Cruel” – Los Angeles Times 


The decision by U.S. Customs and Border Protection not to provide vaccinations to migrant families being detained at the border is dangerous and short-sighted.

The CBP’s justification, which came in response to questions from physicians about health conditions at the facilities, is that border detention is intended to be short-term, and that once children are transferred into the Department of Health and Human Services’ care, they can get vaccinations and other necessary treatment.

That may be theoretically true. But the reality is that some children have been held in the border facilities for much longer than the three days permitted under the law.

The cramped and unsanitary conditions that have been reported at detention camps are ideal breeding grounds for infectious disease — basically a Disneyland for influenza.

It’s also cruel … Read more.