DPH: “Vaccinating as many people as possible, regardless of immigration status, is crucial to stop the spread of COVID-19 in Georgia.”
ATLANTA – Hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants live in Georgia, many of whom work and live in communities disproportionately affected by the coronavirus.
In fact, Latino advocacy groups say 170,000 undocumented immigrants are essential workers in the state. Many of them are a high priority for the vaccine after health care workers and long-term care residents, but health experts say vaccine is reluctant to keep their vaccine counts down.
Our Verify team has received many questions from the community about who is eligible to receive the vaccine. The audience specifically asked us whether undocumented immigrants qualify. We passed this question on to those responsible for introducing the Georgian vaccine.
Can undocumented immigrants get the COVID-19 vaccine once they are approved in Georgia?
Yes, according to the state health department, anyone can get the COVID-19 vaccine for free and without ID.
WHAT WE FOUND
The Georgia Department of Health said undocumented immigrants could get the vaccine for free like everyone else.
A department spokesman added that ID is not required to receive the vaccine. In a statement, DPH said:
“Vaccinating as many people as possible, regardless of immigration status, is crucial to stop the spread of COVID-19 in Georgia.”
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We also reached out to the Latino Community Fund (LCF), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping Latinos. Congressman Hank Johnson, who represents Rockdale County and parts of DeKalb, Gwinnett, and Newton counties, also weighed in.
“We have to make sure we get this vaccine in every corner so everyone can be vaccinated,” Johnson said.
Latinos are among the groups most hesitant to vaccinate, but also among the groups with less vaccine delivery.
“They are overrepresented in frontline jobs and also die faster from COVID,” said Gigi Pedraza, LCF Executive Director.
The Department of Homeland Security released a statement earlier this month highlighting the importance of fair distribution of the vaccine.
The statement said:
“The DHS fulfills its mission, including all areas within its COVID-19 response, without discrimination based on race, ethnicity, nationality, or any other protected class, and in accordance with laws and guidelines.”