Immigration authorities plan to introduce a revamped version of the COVID-19 seasonal flu vaccine into hospitals and other public health facilities next week as a requirement for medical transport of illegal border crossers arrested at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Immigration officials reported this week to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the death of a woman from Belize who, authorities said, had been suffering from the flu while crossing into California earlier this month. At the request of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the CDC is analyzing the woman’s death to try to identify the specific type of flu she had and how the two died.
Doctors who care for patients crossing the border could be sued if a foreign national gets sick and dies, HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Douglas Owens warned this week.
The agency has said it plans to require that all illegal border crossers arrive at the hospitals with their temperatures taken and be diagnosed with one of the COVID-19 vaccines.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approves the COVID-19 season flu vaccine for travel-related purposes. The CDC’s Ebola vaccine is not approved for use outside of the hospital, an agency spokeswoman said. It is still awaiting approval from the European Commission.
The agency has received 1,100 requests for COVID-19 vaccine for travelers to U.S. territory, according to a CDC spokeswoman. The U.S. and its territories have received a combined 10 million doses.