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Emergency Physicians Support CDC Recommendations to Administer the Flu Vaccination in Immigration Detention Centers to Prevent Mass Outbreak

WASHINGTON, Nov. 26, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- According to a recently released letter from congress, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has abandoned recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to require detained migrants to receive the flu vaccination. This suggested rule was disclosed in a letter from the agency only one month after an eight-year-old boy died of the flu while being held at a detention center in El Paso. The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) strongly supports vaccination of any persons detained by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or ICE contracted facilities.

ACEP Logo. (PRNewsFoto/American College of Emergency Physicians) (PRNewsfoto/ACEP)

Risks of contracting the flu are highly elevated amongst individuals who are not vaccinated let alone those who are being held in often time cramped and unsanitary conditions. As such, CBP's decision to not administer potentially life-saving vaccines at their detention centers seems inimical. 

Currently, the CDC recommends that individuals in the United States from ages six on up should receive a flu vaccination especially fall and winter months which are considered flu season. Typically flu activity starts in October and peaks between December and March and can last until May. ACEP believes that in efforts to prevent a mass outbreak of sever illness the CDC recommendation should also be upheld even in migration detention centers.

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The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) is the national medical society representing emergency medicine. Through continuing education, research, public education and advocacy, ACEP advances emergency care on behalf of its 40,000 emergency physician members, and the more than 150 million Americans they treat on an annual basis. For more information, visit www.acep.org.

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SOURCE American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP)