The United States Government has detained more than 21,180 immigrants and the ACLU civil rights group demanded on Wednesday the Department of Homeland Security immediately provide a plan to administer booster vaccines against covid-19.
The Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service (ICE) “does not appear to have a plan for detention centers to provide booster shots to everyone who needs them, or to educate people on the importance of boosters.” said Eunice Cho of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
In a letter sent to Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, ACLU attorneys argued that ICE detention centers “have been among the most dangerous places in the United States.”
“Infection rates at ICE detention sites are 20 times higher than among the general public, and to date, more than 31,400 people in custody have tested positive, ” they added.
That number refers to all detainees who have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began in March 2020. Since then, ICE has tested 456,130 people who have passed through its detention sites.
Of all of them, nine immigrants died of COVID-19 while in ICE custody.
The ACLU asked for information about the vaccine boosters in 30 detention centers in which there are currently 280 people in isolation or under observation, according to official figures.
The ACLU affirmed that ICE “has relied mostly on the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, which has the lowest efficacy rate among all available vaccines,” and recalled that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recommended Johnson and Johnson booster vaccines within two months of initial inoculation.
CDC has directed that people who have received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines get a booster in six months.