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VERIFY: What vaccinations are Afghan refugees required to get?

According to the Department of Homeland Security, Afghan refugees have several vaccinations they must get to come to the United States.

WASHINGTON — Afghan refugees continue to resettle in the United States, and part of the process involves medical screenings. Several people online have asked what vaccines do the Afghan refugees need to have? Is it different than what is required of any other immigrant group coming to the United States?

To begin with, resettling refugees is no easy task. Let alone doing it in the middle of a deadly wave of COVID-19. However, our research shows the refugees are being screened and vaccinated against COVID-19 and other diseases.

Earlier this month, the Virginia Department of Health reported several cases of measles among Afghan refugees.

QUESTION:

Are the refugees from Afghanistan required to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and other diseases?

OUR SOURCES:

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

ANSWER: 

This is true.

Yes, Afghan refugees are required to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and other diseases to enter the United States.

WHAT WE FOUND:

A DHS spokesperson sent us a statement regarding Afghan refugees and vaccination status. According to the statement, DHS requires they be vaccinated for Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) Polio, COVID-19 and any other age-appropriate vaccinations are required by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The spokesperson said if the refugees have not had those vaccines, they will be given to them. The only exceptions are medical reasons taken on a case-by-case evaluation.

So yes, Afghan immigrants are required to get several standard vaccines including the COVID-19 vaccine. If they don’t have proof of the vaccine prior to arrival, they will begin receiving the vaccinations when they get to the U.S. DHS also tests each immigrant for COVID-19 upon arrival.

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