Afghan evacuees offered COVID-19 vaccines upon arrival in U.S.

Refugees evacuated from Kabul, Afghanistan, wait to board a bus that will take them to a refugee processing center at the Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Va., on Thursday. Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI

Aug. 28 (UPI) — Some Afghan evacuees arriving in the United States are receiving COVID-19 vaccines, U.S. officials said.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said Friday the vaccinations were being administered at Dulles International Airport. Some 14,000 Afghan adults and children have arrived as of Friday morning, according to The Washington Post.

Psaki said the Federal Emergency Management Agency set up a vaccination site at the Dulles Expo Center. Afghan nationals are being temporarily housed at the site until they can travel to other temporary housing throughout the United States.

Everyone arriving at Dulles is required to be tested or U.S. citizens can provide proof of a negative test result. Northam said 20 evacuees who have tested positive have been isolated from others.

“If people are saying this mission is bringing in COVID to the United States, it’s just simply not true,” he said.

Air Force Gen. Glen Vanherck said the evacuees are being tested multiple times.

“We are seeing, so far to date, when I was at Fort McCoy on Wednesday, only three out of more than 1,300 had tested positive,” he said during a news conference. “When I went to Fort Bliss the same day, one out of more than 1,200 had tested positive for COVID.”


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