Surgeon General Says Immigration Status Will Not Affect Access to Coronavirus Vaccine

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Surgeon General Jerome Adams said Sunday that immigrants in the U.S. illegally will have access to the coronavirus vaccine and assured that their medical information collected when they receive the shot will not be used against them in a legal context later.

“No one in this country should be denied a vaccine because of their documentation status,” Adams said Sunday on CBS. “Because it’s not ethically right to deny those individuals.”

“Your information when collected to get your second shot if you get the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine will not be used in any way, shape, or form to harm you legally,” Adams said federal officials have informed him.

President-elect Joe Biden expressed a similar opinion in August, saying immigrants should be able to receive the vaccine as well as coronavirus tests and treatment if necessary regardless of their documentation status.

“Every person in the country, whether they’re documented or undocumented, should have access to a vaccine, if and when it occurs, should have access to testing and treatment and hospitalization if it relates to the virus,” Biden said.

The Food and Drug Administration authorized drug-maker Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine for emergency use earlier this month. The request came after a Phase-3 clinical study showed Pfizer’s vaccine to be 95 percent effective in preventing the disease associated with the coronavirus. On Friday, the FDA also approved a vaccine by Moderna that was shown to be 94 percent effective for emergency use.

The White House said last month that it expects to distribute a vaccine for the coronavirus to about 20 million people by the end of December.