The United States Government will require vaccines against COVID-19 for applicants for permanent residence and other types of visas such as refugee visas starting October 1, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced today, for its acronym in English.
“The COVID-19 vaccine now meets the vaccination criteria for applicants for refugee or immigrant status,” the CDC said in a statement.
They added that as of October 1, 2021, all applicants will be required to have the vaccine as part of the medical requirements demanded by immigration authorities, and they are recommended to complete immunizations against COVID-19 as soon as possible.
If the COVID-19 vaccine that applicants apply is a two-dose series, both doses must be documented, the CDC said.
The rule excludes children applying for an immigrant visa, for whom vaccines against COVID-19 are not recommended due to their age, and people who for health reasons cannot receive the vaccine.
Applicants for permanent residence from countries where COVID-19 vaccines are “not available” will also be exempt.
“If the vaccine is available but due to a limited supply in the countries of origin, and this causes a significant delay for the applicant to receive their vaccine, then this situation would also be considered as ‘not routinely available’, explained the text.
In addition, exemptions will be considered for applicants with religious or moral objections to receiving the vaccine.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Department of State will make decisions about such applicants on an individual basis.
But applicants who simply refuse the vaccine for no reason will be considered inadmissible.
“Mandatory vaccination against COVID-19 is necessary to protect the safety of our service members and our force,” announced Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby at a press conference, before sharing the information on social networks.
Austin said the decision was made after careful consultation with health authorities, in this case, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and with President Joe Biden.
As of August 18, more than a million soldiers in active duty of the National Guard and the Reserve had been fully vaccinated and almost 2,45,000 more had received a dose, the AP agency reported after consulting the Defense portfolio.
In late July, Biden instructed the military to prepare a plan requiring troops to receive the vaccine as part of the campaign to generalize inoculation to the federal workforce. This reflects similar decisions by governments and companies around the world, as nations grapple with the Delta variant that is more contagious and has led to new cases, hospitalizations and deaths in the United States at levels not seen since last winter’s peaks.