Migrants should receive vaccines

By Alicia LaRouech

Denying people access to vaccinations is insensitive and unjustifiable, as well as dangerous.

Migrant children detained at the border will not be receiving vaccinations, according to an August 2019 statement from Customs and Border Protection.

During the 2018-2019 flu season, the total number of influenza-related child deaths was 129, according to a 2019 CDC article. Three children have died at the border since December 2018 due to health issues related to influenza, according to an Aug. 1 letter to Congress written by doctors from Harvard and Johns Hopkins Universities.

Migrants at the border are not receiving adequate healthcare. Being in close quarters, coming from a new region of the world and prior complications are a few circumstances that can be harmful when combined with influenza, health studies professor M. Courtney Hughes said.

The proper treatment of illnesses and diseases should be accessible to all; preventative measures considered standard in America, such as vaccines, should extend to those being held in border detention centers.

Yearly influenza vaccinations have been cited to prevent numerous cases of illness, hospitalization and death, according to a 2019 article from the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

“This relationship likely stems from the wear and tear on the body caused by inflammation resulting from the stress response,” Hughes said.

With the possibility of these harmful outcomes, migrants should have equal opportunity at minimizing the risks. To not provide access to vaccinations is ignorant and irresponsible, given the potential dangers.

Hughes said she believes additional medical oversight, in conjunction with more assessments from doctors and further data, is a step in the right direction for ensuring a more safe and healthy environment at the southern U.S. border.

Denial of vaccinations to migrants who are currently detained at the border is a dangerous and harmful situation for the country at large. A breakout of a preventable and common illness can raise ethical and medical questions that could prove to be detrimental to people across the country.