SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — In a reversal of policy, the United States government has begun vaccinating migrants in Border Patrol custody against the flu.
Last month, the Biden administration and the Department of Homeland Security announced a plan to inoculate adult migrants and children along the southern border.
So far, more than 24,000 migrants have been given flu shots while in CBP custody, according to DHS.
The agency stated that the goal is to vaccinate 1,000 people per day.
For many years, public health experts have pushed the government to do this.
The previous administration refused to consider the idea saying the implementation of such a program was “operationally unfeasible” because migrants should not be held for more than 72 hours by the Border Patrol, which detains migrants at sub-stations and tent facilities before being deported, released, discharged or transferred to another agency.
“The public health and clinical reasons were evident from day one,” said Dr. Pritesh Gandhi in an interview with CBS News.
Gandhi is the chief medical officer with DHS.
He added it was a public health imperative to vaccinate migrants early in the immigration process to prevent “downstream flu transmission.”