Refugees from Afghanistan are escorted to a waiting bus after arriving and being processed at Dulles International Airport in Virginia on Monday. The federal government is reportedly offering COVID-19 vaccines for Afghan arrivals at a site near the airport.

Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images


hide caption

toggle caption

Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images


Refugees from Afghanistan are escorted to a waiting bus after arriving and being processed at Dulles International Airport in Virginia on Monday. The federal government is reportedly offering COVID-19 vaccines for Afghan arrivals at a site near the airport.

Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

Afghans and U.S. citizens continue to leave Kabul in droves, after the Taliban takeover and amidst looming security threats. The U.S. is playing a role not only in mass evacuations, but in mass vaccination efforts too.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has opened a COVID-19 vaccination site near Dulles International Airport in Virginia, a senior Biden administration official told the Associated Press on Friday. The official was not authorized to comment publicly and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The site, which offers the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, has reportedly already started vaccinating Afghans. It has State Department translators available to answer questions.

The federal government also reportedly has opened a mobile vaccination unit at Dulles to administer shots to American citizens and green card holders arriving from Afghanistan.

Dulles has been the only point of entry for evacuees so far, with thousands arriving there daily. Civilian flights with refugees are set to begin arriving in Philadelphia as soon as Friday, and the source said a second mass vaccination site is expected at Philadelphia International Airport in the coming days.

What happens when evacuees reach the U.S.

Thousands of Afghans and Afghan U.S. citizens have arrived through Dulles this month, via places like Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Germany, Spain and Bulgaria. Grant Neeley, a spokesperson for Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, put that number at 8,600 on Wednesday.

Arriving evacuees are tested for COVID-19, and quarantined if they test positive. U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents who test negative are allowed to go home.

Just 11 of the 900 Afghan evacuees who were tested on Tuesday appeared to be infected with the virus, Neeley said.

Afghans are taken to the Dulles Expo Center, then to military bases in Virginia, Texas, Wisconsin, and New Jersey for processing.

There, they undergo health screenings and get help applying for work authorization and other services, Reuters reports. The processing can take anywhere from one day to one week, at which point Afghans get connected with U.S. resettlement organizations.

Virginia officials confirmed on Friday that vaccination clinics are set up, but said they are not being widely used.

“These people are just coming out of a war zone,” Northam said. “They’re landing in a new country. And so I think a lot of it is going to be educational. I don’t think this is something you just automatically want to say, ‘You need to get a shot.’ So we’re trying to at least handle some of these individuals with respect and, you know, kid gloves, rather than saying, ‘Do this, do that.’ “

Just 0.58% of Afghanistan’s population is fully vaccinated, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.



Source link

Check Also

Some factories might leave China, but big picture it doesn’t matter

China still holds the cards for global supply chains, whether or not Covid lockdowns frust…