Why Is the U.S. Denying Detained Border-Crossers Flu Shots?
Private citizens have offered to perform vaccinations for free, but the Department of Homeland Security won’t allow it.
by KRISTIE DE PEÑA
II’s flu season again, but most Americans are fortunate to have ample access to flu shots (it’s still not too late!) at a relatively low price. Without the immunization, the flu can kill even a healthy adult, but the disease disproportionately claims the lives of children and the elderly. While the flu is generally considered a manageable epidemic disease, it can still cause astonishing harm in places where vaccines are limited and people are crowded together – places like immigrant detention camps at the southern border, where an epidemic crisis now looms.
Guatemalan Lesbia Garcia, friend of Carlos Hernandez Vasquez, the sixteen-year-old migrant who died in May in immigration custody in Texas, visits the cemetery where his is buried in San Jose El Rodeo village, in the municipality of Cubulco, Baja Verapaz Department, northwest of Guatemala City, on December 7, 2019. – Seven months after the death of Carlos under the custody of the US border patrol, a video of the security cameras was released showing the teenager dying at the detention center. Carlos Hernandez had been detained by US border patrol agents in May after crossing the border from Mexico. He was seen by a nurse who determined he had the flu and was moved from the McAllen centre to a nearby facility to avoid other detainees getting sick. Just a week after being apprehended, he was found unresponsive during a welfare check. (Photo by ORLANDO ESTRADA / AFP) (Photo by ORLANDO ESTRADA/AFP via Getty Images)