What We're Reading: CBP Rejects Migrant Vaccination; PhRMA Cuts Funding for APF; Cancer Incidence by Chemical Plant

November 26, 2019
AJMC Staff

US Customs and Border Protection rejected recommendations by the CDC to vaccinate migrants in detention centers for the flu; PhRMA cut its donation to Addiction Policy Forum and will end all support in 2020; Louisiana health officials announced they will examine the cancer incidence in an area next to a chemical plant known to emit a likely carcinogen.

CBP Rejects CDC Recommendation to Vaccinate Migrants

Last winter, the CDC recommended the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to vaccinate migrants in detention against the flu, but CBP rejected the idea, according to a letter acquired by CNN. In the letter, Robert Redfield, MD, director of the CDC, responded to Rosa DeLaura, US Representative for Connecticut's 3rd congressional district, when being asked if CBP spoke with the CDC about the child deaths at detention centers, if CBP asked for guidance about vaccination for migrants, and if the CDC has spoken with HHS or the White House about CBP vaccination rules. Redfield responded that the CDC has been discussing the issue of child deaths with CBP since the beginning 2018, and spoke weekly with the agency in 2019 about flu cases in migrant facilities from May to July 4.

PhRMA Cuts Donation for Addiction Treatment Group

PhRMA announced it will cut its donation for Addiction Policy Forum (APF) from $8.1 million to $6 million this year and will end all support in 2020, according to Politico. Jessica Nickel, chief executive officer of APF, was accused by 8 current and former employees of having poorly managed some of the millions given in the donation, which currently provides the nonprofit organization with 90% of its funding. Nickel stated, “It is categorically false to claim that we have misused or mismanaged money.”

Louisiana Officials to Examine Risk of Cancer by Chemical Plant

Louisiana health officials announced their intention to examine every residence within 2.5 kilometers of the chemical plant Denka Performance Elastomer in St. John the Baptist Parish to determine how many people in the neighborhood have developed cancer, according to ProPublica. The area, called Cancer Alley, has long been stressed by residents as concerning due to the amount of chemical plants near their homes, which are known to emit carcinogens and cancer-causing air pollutants. Back in 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency stated that the Denka plant is the only one in the country to emit the classified likely carcinogen chloroprene.