The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that the thousands of Afghans being brought into the U.S. by the Biden administration for permanent resettlement will require vaccination against measles, though there has not been any indication if they are mandated to take any of the coronavirus vaccines as well.
The CDC wrote in a release that it has notified public health departments of 16 measles cases among the evacuees. All patients confirmed to have the disease have been isolated and provided care, and their contacts have been quarantined as well. Those who were not immune were given the MMR vaccine or immunoglobulin, if not vaccine-eligible.
Evacuees who are in the U.S. are also required to be vaccinated with MMR and complete 21-day quarantines from the time of vaccination in designated locations, such as military bases. (Related: Biden regime blamed for delaying private groups trying to evacuate U.S. citizens from Afghanistan: “This is zero place to be negotiating with American lives”.)
The move comes due to reports of measles outbreaks at several U.S. military bases, where the Biden administration is currently housing tens of thousands of Afghans.
Those who remain at overseas military bases will also be required to take measles vaccines and wait 21 days before they can be brought to the U.S. Flights for more than 9,000 evacuees housed at Ramstein Air Base and Rhine Ordnance Barracks in Germany have been halted after the discovery of measles affecting evacuees in the United States.
Sandra Archer, a spokeswoman for the 86th Airlift wing said that there is no set date for the resumption of lights, as the CDC recommended a pause on the evacuation efforts. “We’ll continue to follow CDC guidance and public health expert guidance during this temporary CDC pause,” she said.
The CDC reported that some Afghan evacuees have left bases before they were able to identify measles cases that prompted mass vaccination campaigns. Due to this, a special advisory has been issued to doctors around the country, warning them to be alert for cases of measles and other infectious diseases among the evacuees.
In addition to measles, the CDC officials also said that there have been outbreaks of other viruses such as varicella, mumps, tuberculosis, malaria, leishmaniasis, hepatitis A and coronavirus. The agency warned that evacuees are at an increased risk of gastrointestinal infections such as shigellosis, giardiasis and cryptosporidiosis.
Further, the CDC said that it expected measles infections to spread among evacuees because only 60 percent of people living in Afghanistan have been vaccinated. The country also ranks seventh in the world for measles cases.
Measles was declared eliminated from the U.S. in 2000. While it is no longer endemic, travelers still continue to bring it into the country, posing risks to those who are unvaccinated.
Most of the evacuees who arrived in the U.S. flew in via the Dulles International Airport in Virginia. The state has now declared measles outbreaks in its northern and central regions in connection with the evacuees’ arrivals. The Virginia Department of Health website noted that community transmissions have not been identified, and officials believe the risk to the general public remains low.
The Biden administration plans to permanently resettle around 95,000 Afghans in 46 states in the U.S. over the next 12 months. In a 21-day period from August to September, Biden has already brought more than 48,000 Afghans into the country for resettlement.
The resettlement operation is said to be bankrolled not only by taxes, but also through several refugee contractors, multinational corporations and non-governmental organizations backed by former presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
Read more updates at Pandemic.news.