Article | International migrants and vaccination against

On August 17, 2021, the city of São Paulo announced that 100% of the population over 18 years of age living in the city had received at least one dose of vaccine against covid-19, or the single-dose vaccine.

At the time, the Vacinometer bulletin counted almost 8.9 million first doses applied, in addition to 318 thousand single doses. The last bulletin, released on November 4, indicated 108% of the population over 18 years old vaccinated with at least one dose or a single dose, and 103% of adolescents between 12 and 17 years old in the same situation.

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Almost two months later, an articulation between sectors of civil society succeeded in carrying out what were the only specific efforts to vaccinate the migrant population in São Paulo, and one of the few that took place across the country.

On September 11 and October 30, in the neighborhoods of Lajeado and Cidade Tiradentes – both in the far east of São Paulo –, two actions promoted vaccination of migrants against covid-19.

In a universe of about 380 migrants assisted by immigration regularization services, social assistance, humanitarian aid and consular services, 73 people were immunized without the need to present Brazilian documents and proof of residence, 67 of them with the first dose (92% of all vaccinated in the actions).

This means that 17.6% of those present had not taken even a dose of the vaccine two months after the announcement made by the Municipal Health Department of São Paulo.

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Although the sample does not allow analyzes of the universe of migrants, something that has been argued since the beginning of this crisis was evident: the migrant population residing in Brazil and São Paulo has been bypassing the concerns of the Public Power, and the same gave during the structuring of vaccination efforts.

Since the beginning of the immunization campaign, in January 2021, documents such as the CPF were required, contrary to the Brazilian constitution and Law No. 8080/90, and information campaigns on vaccination for migrants were scarce, with inadequate language and information out of date.

It is necessary to take as a premise, therefore, that it is very likely that a considerable portion of the migrant population has not taken even a dose of vaccine against covid-19, and that the Brazilian governments – municipal, state and federal – have turned a deaf ear when asked about it.

Edition: Leandro Melito

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