No Flu Shots For Migrants Held In Detention Facilities

Barbara Schwarz
August 21, 2019 - 4:30 pm
Doctor and patient

Credit: wutwhanfoto/Getty Images

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DALLAS (1080 KRLD) - The Trump administration says migrants being held in detention camps will not be given flu shots this year.

Doctors say at least three children held at those centers have died from complications of the flu.  Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the national school of tropical medicine at Baylor says "absolutely we need to vaccinate this population.  That's a risk, especially in crowded conditions where there's a lot of stress.  That's even more reason to vaccinate now against influenza,"

Hotez says everyone should get an annual flu vaccine.  Even if the vaccine is not a perfect match for the strain of flu, it will offer some protection.  "Especially if you're living in crowded conditions with stress, you can almost guarantee there's going to  be a flu epidemic.  I consider receiving annual vaccinations against flu a human right.

He calls the administration's decision "absolutely crazy."

Hotez says 80 thousand Americans died during the last flu season, including 600 children.

In a statement, Customs and Border Protection says "In general, due to the short term nature of Customs and Border Protection 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."