The European Commission adopted a recommendation for effective vaccine strategies and deployment back in October 2020. In it, refugees are cited as a priority group. There is no mention of undocumented migrants. Individual nations, however, are each responsible for developing their own vaccine strategies as well as defining and prioritizing groups for vaccination. Refugees and migrants a priority Refugees and undocumented migrants are some of the most marginalized people in Europe. They belong to categories defined by legal status. When asylum-seekers are applying for or are granted asylum on the grounds that they are fleeing war or persecution in their home countries, they have temporary residency rights as official refugees. Undocumented migrants, on the other hand — even those born in Europe who have inherited their status from their parents — are not recognized by the current asylum framework. One of the main reasons both these groups need to be prioritized in national vaccination strategies is because they tend to live in such perilous conditions. The aid group Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has reported that refugees are three times more likely to be exposed to infection than people living in regular settings. “Oftentimes, social distancing and quarantine measures are impossible since they usually live in precarious settings, such as overcrowded apartments or informal encampments,” Gianluca Cesaro… Read full this story
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