Blame Disease Outbreaks On Vaccine Avoidance, Not Refugees

Is the current measles outbreak in Europe associated with refugee populations?

“Most of the refugees and migrants now arriving in Europe come from Middle Eastern countries where vaccines are widely accepted and coverage has traditionally been high. Those most at risk for vaccine-preventable diseases are young children who have not yet been vaccinated because the vaccination programmes in their home countries have been interrupted by civil unrest and war.”

Vaccines and Immigrants in the United States

“Countries in Central America, where most of the unaccompanied children are from (Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras), have childhood vaccination programs, and most children have received some childhood vaccines. However, they may not have received a few vaccines, such as chickenpox, influenza, and pneumococcal vaccines. As a precaution, ORR [Office of Refugee Resettlement] is providing vaccinations to all children who do not have documentation of previous valid doses of vaccine.”

“Overall, there are 10 times more annual US visitors to high measles incidence countries than there are unauthorized immigrants in the US from high measles incidence countries.

Efforts to prevent reestablishment of indigenous measles transmission in the US should focus on evidence-based risk assessments, highlighting a greater potential measles importation risk of from US residents travelling internationally than unauthorized immigrants coming to the US.”




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