Migrants at the Manston processing centre will be vaccinated against diphtheria after dozens of cases of the highly contagious disease were confirmed in England, health authorities have said.
Immigration minister Robert Jenrick said on November 1 that just four cases had been identified at the site in Kent, but insisted those involved had arrived at Manston already infected.
He said reports of diphtheria, MRSA and scabies incidents at the centre had been “exaggerated”.
But the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said it is now moving with the Home Office to vaccinate migrants at the centre following a spike in infections.
The UKHSA revealed on Friday that 39 diphtheria cases had been identified in asylum seekers in England in 2022, as of November 10, warning accommodation settings should be considered “high-risk for infectious diseases”.
“We recommend that diphtheria vaccination and antibiotics are offered to people at the centre and all those who have moved on recently. “
In guidance for cases and outbreaks in asylum seeker accommodation settings, published on Friday, the UKHSA said its incident management team had recommended “mass antibiotic prophylaxis and mass vaccination”.
This was due to a “high prevalence” of toxigenic diphtheria infection in high volume reception settings where individual case and contact management is not possible, it said.
The treatment has been recommended for asylum seekers arriving at reception centres after October 31 and before December 12, including those who have already been dispatched to hotels, with young children and their families prioritised.
A national briefing has also been sent to NHS staff to “highlight the importance of early diagnosis and prompt treatment of suspected cases”.
The above summary was derived from the story linked below
Source: Migrants at Manston to be vaccinated against diphtheria following spike in cases