Home » ‘Covid-19 does not discriminate’: Thousands of refugees, asylum-seekers barred from Hong Kong vaccination programme

‘Covid-19 does not discriminate’: Thousands of refugees, asylum-seekers barred from Hong Kong vaccination programme

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More than 13,000 refugees and asylum-seekers in Hong Kong are barred from the government Covid-19 vaccination programme despite calls by global humanitarian bodies urgently to make the jabs available to the millions displaced worldwide.

NGOs say the group are excluded from the current vaccination rollout because they are not recognised as Hong Kong residents.

File photo: RF Studio/Pexels.

“Our immigration status should not be an excuse to prevent us from getting vaccinated. We already face enough discrimination and stereotypes from the public, why exclude us further when all we ask for is that our personal safety and health be cared for just as equally as a Hong Kong Resident?”

“Most community members want to protect themselves and the general Hong Kong public from the virus,” the programmes manager at Christian Action’s Centre for Refugees, Jennifer Moberg Pforte, told HKFP. “They are, after all, humans, and deserve the same access to the basic protection against the pandemic that the rest of us enjoy. At least they should be able to make the choice.”

A senior public health officer from the UN’s refugee body, UNHCR, said in January that including refugees in the vaccine rollout was “key to ending the pandemic”.

Also in January, the World Health Organisation (WHO) urged international leaders to make Covid-19 vaccinations available to refugees.

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