Should we vaccinate because of refugees?

The massive refugee immigration that we are currently experiencing is not something that will soon be over; it is a precursor for a new age of migration. Most of the refugees come from destabilized areas, torn apart by current and past conflicts, such as: Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, and former Yugoslavia. In the majority of these conflicts the USA and their allies were involved, in all of them weapons from Germany, the fourth largest weapons exporter in the world, played large role. Therefore I feel that we are morally obliged to take in these refugees and to modify our foreign policy and exportation politics.

The majority of the refugees are young people, those that were strong enough to take on the heavy risks of a long and dangerous migration. Upon arrival here in Germany they are exhausted but only seldom carry an infectious disease. They are immediately examined for tuberculosis, HIV, hepatitis B and intestinal infections for which they are treated as necessary. Furthermore they are vaccinated against the common infectious diseases.

Refugees therefore pose no threat and provide no risks to the health of others. There have been no cases of transmission of polio or diphtheria. Refugees are however endangered by infectious diseases such as measles or chicken pox, which are problematic for adults. People that work with refugees, should therefore be immune to such diseases.

The greatest health problem that the refugees have is psychological harm incurred through the wars in their home countries and the perils of their escape to Europe. Many of them were victims of acts of violence or have lost family members.

The living conditions in the refugee camps and shelters and the threat of xenophobic attacks do the rest to make their lives difficult. We should give them the feeling of being welcome

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