Covid-19 Vaccines: Deportation Fears May Be Limiting Uptake Among Undocumented Migrants In The U.K.

Forbes: British lawmakers have warned their government that fear of deportation may be stopping hundreds of thousands of undocumented migrants from getting vaccinated against Covid-19.

Most vaccines are being distributed through family doctors (GPs). But many undocumented migrants are afraid to register with their local GP over fears their details will be shared with the Home Office.

Health Minister Ed Argar previously told radio station LBC that the government was not going to “chase up” the immigration status of anyone getting a shot.

But on Friday, Labour party MP Sarah Owen and Conservative peer Lord Sheikh asked what “proactive” action was being taken to ensure the country’s 1.2 million undocumented migrants are not missed in the vaccine rollout, in a letter to vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi.

They asked Zahawi how the government planned on reaching those who might be reluctant to get the shot, or who may not have access to vaccine information in their language.

They wrote: “We are deeply concerned that the large numbers of people who are undocumented will be highly vulnerable and disproportionately impacted by Covid-19, while also being some of the most hesitant to reach out to receive their vaccine.”

Katherine Hignett Contributor Health care: I write about U.K. health policy.

Read more: