MCMS Stands with MedChi: Statement on Trump Administration’s Withholding of Flu Vaccines from Migrants

The following is a reprint of this statement, originally released by MedChi, The Maryland State Medical Society on August 22, 2019. Additional Information Contact: Gene M. Ransom, CEO Office: 410-539-0872 x 3305

It is being reported by many major news outlets that the U.S. government will not give flu vaccines to migrant families being held in detention centers near the U.S.-Mexico border. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced the decision Tuesday, weeks before the flu season begins and during Immunization Awareness Month.

MedChi President, Dr. Ben Stallings, urged the Trump Administration to reverse this decision on human rights and public health grounds this Thursday. Dr. Stallings explained, “The flu vaccine saves lives. The U.S. has an affirmative duty to provide vaccines for these people, especially given the fact at least three migrant children have died in the past year from the flu. Not providing basic preventive care, especially for children and those crowded for extended periods in close quarters, violates the fundamental principles of medical care and public health. Not only is this dangerous for those in detention, this inhumane policy ultimately has the potential of putting all Americans at greater risk contracting the flu.”

About MCMS & MedChi

MedChi, The Maryland State Medical Society, is a non-profit membership association of Maryland physicians, of which Montgomery County Medical Society is the largest component. MedChi is the largest physician organization in Maryland. The mission of MedChi is to serve as Maryland’s foremost advocate and resource for physicians, their patients and the public health of Maryland. For more information, please visit