LOS ANGELES (CNS) — The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted today to challenge the federal government’s anti-flu vaccine policy for migrant children at border detention facilities.
Supervisor Hilda Solis championed the plan to either file suit or a “friend of the court” brief in support of an existing lawsuit.
“The U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s imprudent decision to deny migrant children the flu vaccine while they are detained at a border detention center is reprehensible and irresponsible,” Solis said in a statement following the vote. “Flu outbreaks are common at CBP holding facilities.
Unsanitary conditions, overcrowding and poor nutrition increase the risk for infectious diseases to spread quickly.”
Last January, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended vaccinations for pregnant women and children at the earliest point of detention, but the CBP rejected the idea.
One child died a month before the recommendation was issued, and at least two children held at detention centers on the U.S.-Mexico border have died of flu since then.
The CBP has argued that it doesn’t make sense to vaccinate children that they say are only in custody at the border for 72 hours, on average, before moving on to other long-term detention centers -- where they are typically vaccinated.