scoop.co.nz 22 Mar, 2021 18:45 am

Greece’s Discriminatory Vaccination Practices Render Asylum Seekers Seriously Vulnerable

Greece’s Discriminatory Vaccination Practices Render Asylum Seekers Seriously Vulnerable
In its current vaccination plan, Greece is marginalizing migrants and asylum seekers, even though they are particularly at risk as they remain stuck in vulnerable, impoverished, and overcrowded conditions, often without proper accommodation, water, sanitation ...

Now, the unequal distribution of vaccines normalizes policies that discriminate among equally fragile individuals” said Michela Pugliese, Legal Researcher at the Euro-Med Monitor, “Inequality and discrimination harm as much as the virus”.Euro-Med Monitor calls on Greece to clarify its national vaccination strategy regarding migrants and to guarantee that people experiencing social exclusion and health vulnerabilities or living in high-risk situations, like people on the move, including undocumented migrants, receive immediate access to vaccination.Euro-Med Monitor calls on the European Union to ensure that the Covid-19 vaccinations are handled as a humanitarian and international matter, in a coordinated approach and with extreme care, inclusion, accessibility and transparency, so that any vulnerable person is prioritized, regardless of his/her citizenship or story.Recently, Aristotelia Peloni, a government spokesperson, stated in a news conference that migrants are not a priority and that “others have priority, mainly elders (…) and vulnerable groups that will soon be added into the program regardless of age”.

In its current vaccination plan, Greece is marginalizing migrants and asylum seekers, even though they are particularly at risk as they remain stuck in vulnerable, impoverished, and overcrowded conditions, often without proper accommodation, water, sanitation facilities and access to healthcare.Yet the EU Commission in a list of priority groups to be vaccinated first included inter alia persons whose state of health makes them particularly at risk, persons who cannot socially distance, and more disadvantaged socio-economic groups.

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