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Vaccine xenophobia against immigrants and refugees must end
FATEN TAKI, GUNISHA KAUR AND STEPHEN YALE-LOEHR, July 24, 2021
"None of us can be completely safe if any group or nation is left behind. To achieve herd immunity, vaccine access should be a basic right. We all eagerly want our lives back. That can only happen with herd immunity. Creativity in developing and enforcing immigration policies should be rooted in humanitarianism and empathy, not xenophobia and nationalism. After all, we all depend on one another in various ways, especially to stay healthy. As individuals, what can we do? Building immigrant-citizen collaborations in high-income countries to advocate for the rights of those who have no voice or are fearful of repercussions is one way to improve vaccine equity, especially among forcibly displaced populations. This can be in the form of working with nongovernmental organizations, voicing concerns to Congress about sharing superfluous vaccines with other countries, eliminating unnecessary visa exclusions, and investing in humanitarian border operations, and engaging in community outreach programs to empower displaced individuals by compiling reliable and accessible resources about their eligibility for healthcare benefits, including vaccines. Working together we can make a difference."