Special Populations: Undocumented Population

As well as speaking English as a second language, being an undocumented citizen in the DC region has presented large barriers to vaccination uptake.[1] Even despite the Department of Homeland Security issuing a statement of equal access to COVID19 vaccines and distribution sites[2], anti-vaccine narratives and the rise of disinformation has created another barrier for those that represent the immigrant and undocumented population[3]. In many states, undocumented citizens are being turned away at the vaccination sites because they were unable to show their ID[4].

To attempt to combat this, the CDC has developed a special COVID19 statement and webpage to ensure that “information about the CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Program ─ with vaccine being provided by the federal government ─ to ensure all people in the United States who wish to be vaccinated can receive vaccine without barriers, to the greatest extent possible[5].” Anyone of any background is able to get vaccinated for free through the walk-up vaccination clinics hosted on the “get vaccinated” webpage through the coronavirus DC Gov. Schedules listed daily based on Ward and Facility Name. The District’s Medicaid Managed Care Organization (MCOs) also offer free of charge transportation options for those in need, to and from, appointments. Request transportation through one of the four choices below:

  • AmeriHealth Caritas DC | Call 1-800-315-3485. Rides available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • CareFirst Community Health Plan DC | Call MTM1 at 1-855-824-5693. Rides available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Health Services for Children with Special Needs | Call SET Transportation at 1-866-991-5433.
  • MedStar Family Choice DC | Call 1-866-201-9974.

To find the most complete and up to date information provided by the Washington, DC government, visit their specialized coronavirus website and review key metrics[6], vaccination data[7], DC public school data[8], and variant surveillance in the region[9].

Resources –

[1] Johnson, Akilah. “For Immigrants, Ids Prove to Be a Barrier to a Dose of Protection.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 10 Apr. 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/04/10/covid-vaccine-immigrants-id/.

[2] “DHS Statement on Equal Access to COVID-19 Vaccines and Vaccine Distribution Sites.” DHS Statement on Equal Access to COVID-19 Vaccines and Vaccine Distribution Sites | Homeland Security, https://www.dhs.gov/publication/dhs-statement-equal-access-covid-19-vaccines-and-vaccine-distribution-sites#:~:text=DHS%20and%20its%20Federal%20government,have%20access%20to%20the%20vaccine.

[3] Choi, Jinny & Woo, Sangwook Michael. (2022). Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy Among Immigrant Communities in Canada. Korea Association for Public Value. 3. 43-50. 10.53581/jopv.2022.3.1.43.

[4] McLaughlin, Kelly. “At Least 14 Undocumented Immigrants Were Wrongly Turned Away from a COVID-19 Vaccination Site in Texas.” Insider, Insider, 26 Feb. 2021, https://www.insider.com/undocumented-immigrants-turned-away-texas-covid19-vaccination-site-2021-2.

[5] “Covid-19 Vaccination Provider Requirements and Support.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 22 July 2022, https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/vaccination-provider-support.html.

[6] “Key Metrics.” Coronavirus, 3 July 2022, https://coronavirus.dc.gov/key-metrics.

[7] “Vaccination Data.” Coronavirus, https://coronavirus.dc.gov/data/vaccination.

[8] “DC Schools Data.” Coronavirus, https://coronavirus.dc.gov/page/dc-schools-data.

[9] “Variant Surveillance.” Coronavirus, https://coronavirus.dc.gov/page/variant-surveillance.

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