NGO points to obstacles in vaccination of migrants

NGO points to obstacles in vaccination of migrants

Non-governmental organization Metadrasi is calling on the government to make is easier for irregular migrants and asylum seekers to get a Covid vaccine, pointing to snags in the current system.

In an announcement last week, Metadrasi said it has received around 700 applications for assistance from foreign nationals wanting to get vaccinated since inaugurating its helpdesk in August.

“From the total number of applicants, 31% have completed vaccination or received the first dose with the help of Metadrasi; 10% are waiting for their temporary AMKA [social security ID] to be activated and 24% have been directed to a pharmacy or Citizens’ Service Bureau to have a temporary AMKA issued,” the organization announced.

It said that the biggest problems being faced by migrants is in the issuance of the temporary AMKA – which is required to book a vaccine appointment on the platform – reporting numerous complaints from applicants claiming to have been turned away from pharmacies and Citizens’ Advice Bureaus (KEP). 

In 60% of its successful vaccination applications, Metadrasi had to send a member or volunteer with the applicant to ensure that a temporary AMKA was issued.

It also claimed that dozens of registered asylum seekers and recognized refugees are being blocked out of the electronic booking system despite having the necessary paperwork.

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