US Officials Deny Doctors' Request To Give Free Flu Vaccine To Detained Migrants
The Trump administration continues to refuse to vaccinate detained migrants against the flu — despite the flu-related deaths of three migrant children while in federal custody — and on Monday, Customs and Border Patrol agents turned away a group of doctors ready to vaccinate migrant children for free.
According to Common Dreams, the group of physicians arrived at the gates of the Chula Vista Border Patrol Station in San Ysidro with 120 doses of the flu vaccine, but they were denied entry by CBP.
"Refusing to vaccinate is inhumane," tweeted Immigrant Families Together director Julie Schwietert Collazo. "The agency is willingly putting lives at risk of death."
Dr. Marie DeLuca, one of the physicians who was turned away, said “people are needlessly suffering and dying” due to the Trump administration’s policy of not vaccinating. "You can't lock people up in inhumane conditions, watch them get sick, and then refuse them access to medical care,” she added.
Monday reportedly kicked off a week of planned action by the doctors and other immigration groups and activists. The physicians are supported by the groups Doctors for Camp Closures, Families Belong Together, and Never Again Action.
"This administration's cruel immigration agenda is intentionally barring life-saving medical care from children by refusing to provide vaccines during flu season," Families Belong Together chair Jess Morales Rocketto said in a statement. "Earlier this year, as immigration authorities sat by, 16-year-old Carlos Gregorio Hernandez Vasquez died from the flu on the floor of his concrete jail cell."
“We need action immediately to get children the life-saving care they need to make sure that no more kids die in cages,” Rocketto added.