Human rights and herd immunity is what the latest vaccine conversations are about. As in many situations, undocumented immigrants fall through the cracks and are left without access to basic services. In many situations, they are so isolated that they don’t even have access to news about the services all people should have a right to and how to access them. Then there’s the fear of showing up to receive a service and being deported to an unsafe country.
Sure, part of the reason undocumented immigrants aren’t vaccinated against covid-19 yet has to do with not knowing where they are, but there’s also the issues of them being without information and scared to show up and get deported or turned away by officials. Even with officials who want to help, there’s no way to record their vaccinations without any ID so they can’t do much.
It’s been stressed over and over that something’s got to give if we are to get to national herd immunity status. 10% of the population are immigrants, many waiting on refugee status approval, and thus still undocumented, and making things even more difficult, we don’t know how many immigrants are in irregular status or without documents.
They need to be vaccinated just like everyone else for public safety. They can catch and transmit covid-19 just like anyone else and are even more vulnerable to it because of condensed living conditions.
The cost is another factor. Sure, the CCSS would have to pay $30 for their vaccine, but that will potentially save them and those they’re in contact with from being hospitalized, which can cost up to $6,000 a day.
President Carlos Alvarado announced some good news today. A donation of vaccines is being donated specifically for this population. Details will be shared at a later date but a plan is in the works to vaccinate all who are in Costa Rica.