During the 2018/2019 flu season, the advocacy group Doctors for Camp Closure (D4CC) reports that at least three children in ICE detention died from the flu. That’s roughly three times the rate of flu deaths for the U.S. population generally.
As flu season begins again, the group has raised funds and volunteer medical staff to administer flu shots to children in ICE detention. Thus far, ICE has rejected this offer, and is not offering flu shots to detainees.
D4CC is seeking 1,000 signatures from doctors and other health professionals on the petition here – https://d4cc.nationbuilder.com/flu_vaccine_for_migrants?fbclid=IwAR1KzKIvyz8ezdk3ldT5OS-3KMJBkxq2r8el1GsB6JHFrf7t1SlkraK-MjQ – as part of a multi-pronged advocacy campaign to ensure that children in detention are vaccinated for flu. Roughly 650 medical professionals have already signed.
Doctors Say: Allow vaccination of migrants in detention. Sign the Petition!
Dear fellow doctors, health care professionals, and health professions students:
It’s flu season, and the federal government is refusing to vaccinate people in their detention centers. On November 5th, we wrote a letter requesting access to a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) camp to provide free influenza vaccination. The letter was addressed to the secretaries of the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Health and Human Services.
They have so far ignored the letter.
We would bring the qualified, licensed physicians. We would bring the doses of flu vaccine, at no cost to the government. All they need to do is allow us entry.
Join us in calling on the federal government to allow us to bring flu vaccines to the people held in a migrant detention camp.
Three children in CBP custody died from influenza last season. This is 9 times higher than the expected death rate for this disease. Despite this, CBP has repeatedly stated they will not provide vaccinations. This is just one, small example of the well-documented medical neglect in these camps.
These detention camps should not exist in the first place. While they remain, let’s hold our government accountable for their medical neglect. Join us as we stand for the basic dignity and safety of the vulnerable people in these camps.
— Marie, Bonnie, and Danielle