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Berlin, Asylum seekers to start receiving the COVID-19 vaccine this month

The Berlin State Office for Refugees Affairs (LAF) is hoping to start vaccinating residents in asylum seekers centres against COVID-19 this month. This is because migrants and communal facilities are considered a ‘high priority’ in Germany’s vaccine distribution.

The acting presidents of the LAF, Jana Borkamp told the news agency epd that, “People who live in accommodation centres obviously have more social contact than a person who lives in their own apartment.”

She pointed out that two thirds of centres, residents share kitchens and hygiene facilities.

“Even if they wear a mask, they have more social contact, and for that reason they are also exposed to a higher risk of infection,” Borkamp said. She added that it was the right move to include those living in asylum seeker accommodation centers in the second phase of vaccinations (“high priority”). “In fact that is not just asylum seekers, it’s also other groups living in communal centres, like people with disabilities or homeless people,” she added.

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There has been a growing rise of infection among asylum seekers. Around 1,300 people in the centres in Berlin tested positive for coronavirus as of the end of March. Four residents have already died as a result of the virus.

The office of refugee affairs has released information videos about vaccination in 15 different languages which has been received well. The Somali, Farsi, Russian and Arabic versions have received the most reviews.

Source: Berlin State Office for Refugees Affairs, InfoMigrants