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Last updateFri, 15 Oct 2021 5pm

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Vaccines for U.S. Citizens Abroad

This letter has been formally submitted to the Office of President Joseph Biden

 

Dear Mr. President,

 

We, the International Executive Committee and Country Chairs of the Democratic Party Committee Abroad (Democrats Abroad), urge you to enable the swift vaccination of U.S. citizens abroad. While we cheer the rapid and highly effective management of Covid-19 vaccinations within the United States — as well as your March 11 commitment to make FDA-approved vaccines available to every adult U.S. citizen — many U.S. citizens overseas remain unvaccinated, in many cases due to limited availability of vaccines. Although some of us have access to vaccines in our host countries, we all agree that the U.S. government should take appropriate steps to ensure that vaccines are available to all of its citizens worldwide.

As you recently stated, using the United States’ vaccine stockpile to fight the disease around the world is “the right thing to do... the smart thing to do... the strong thing to do.” We respectfully ask that, in implementing this pledge, our government also considers the lives and situations of its own citizens residing outside of the United States and ensures  their access to FDA-approved vaccines.

Vaccine-related issues facing U.S. citizens abroad were recently highlighted in The Atlantic article “They Get Taxed, but Not Vaxxed.” As described, returning to the United States for a jab is simply not an option for most people. Jobs, family obligations, and costs preclude taking the five or six weeks required for travel, completion of the vaccination cycle, and in many cases the need to still comply with quarantine requirements upon returning to their host country. And, of course, the risk inherent in the trip itself, as pointed out in the U.S. State Department’s own recent travel advisory, can and should give pause.

To quote from the U.S. State Department website: “The U.S. Government has no higher priority than the protection of American citizens.” The security of nine million American lives may be at stake. We respectfully urge you to address this matter and ensure the swift vaccination of U.S. citizens worldwide.

 

Sincerely,

Candice Kerestan

International Chair