Covid-19 Vaccines and migrants

19 April 2022


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The ICB addresses the issue of Covid-19 vaccination with specific reference to migrants, comprising people without stay permits, asylum seekers, refugees, displaced persons, beneficiaries of humanitarian and temporary protection, unaccompanied foreign minors. These groups of people are particularly vulnerable due to the socio-economic and cultural conditions in which they live. Their protection is difficult to ensure, given that not only the pandemic increases the importance of the factors that produce inequalities in relation to the right to health, but because it also exacerbates the socio-economic conditions, already unfavourable for certain groups, making them an evident risk factor for contagion and a social determinant in the severity of disease outcomes. In the face of the pandemic, access to treatment and care can also be particularly difficult due to inadequate understanding of administrative procedures, a lack of relational support networks, and linguistic-cultural barriers. The vulnerability of migrants has been brought to our attention even more dramatically as a result of the war in Ukraine and the consequent migratory phenomenon towards our country, particularly with reference to the elderly, women, and minors

The ICB recommends planning on a permanent basis a Covid-19 vaccination strategy for particularly vulnerable groups, with regard to migrants, to grant them the opportunity to protect their health, while aiming to protect public health on the basis of the ethical and constitutional principles of equality and non-discrimination, justice and equity; it also recommends implementation of the indications of the Ministry of Health as part of the vaccination plan; that specific attention should be paid to the reception of the elderly, women, unaccompanied children, single-parent families, so as to protect their health in a dramatic phase of their life while at the same time protecting public health; that, in particular in the activities relating to the administration of Sars-CoV2 vaccines, starting from the age of 5, the assistance of adequately trained doctors be ensured, together with that of translators and cultural mediators in order to guarantee informed consent and protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of migrants and facilitate achieving vaccination coverage targets; that public and private initiatives to produce documentary material in different languages are to be enhanced, especially with regard to the protection of individual and collective health through the instrument of vaccination.

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