October 5, 2021

Afghan evacuees vaccinated against measles, chicken pox

Sgt. Tackora Farrington/Indiana National Guard

Sgt. Tackora Farrington/Indiana National Guard

EDINBURGH, Ind. (AP) — More than 6,100 Afghan evacuees housed at Camp Atterbury in southern Indiana have been vaccinated against measles, mumps, rubella and chicken pox, federal officials at the base said Monday.

The vaccination campaign began Sept. 6 and concluded Sept. 17. They said Afghans arriving at the base about 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of Indianapolis are required to receive vaccinations for measles, COVID-19 and other diseases as a condition of remaining in the U.S. unless a medical provider determine that a vaccine is not medically appropriate, they said.

A measles outbreak among 24 evacuees in Europe, the Middle East and at U.S. military bases caused a three-week pause in evacuations, Department of Homeland Security officials said Monday.

“The success of this vaccination campaign demonstrates our commitment to the public health of Afghan nationals, the personnel assisting this mission, and the American public,” said Robert Fenton of Operation Allies Welcome, the federal effort to support vulnerable Afghans evacuated from that country and being resettled in local communities.

Rubella is also known as German measles.

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