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Hostile environment: 240 groups join call for vaccines for all

MORE than 240 organisations are calling on ministers to end hostile environment policies in healthcare, to ensure the Covid-19 vaccine is available to everyone. 

The Vaccine for All campaign, launched by Patients Not Passports this week, is supported by trade unions, health institutions, local councils, migrants’ rights charities and faith groups. 

The government has stated that everyone is able to access the vaccine. Campaigners argue however that migrants are still facing barriers to register with a GP — and are too afraid to access services because of NHS charging and data sharing with the Home Office.

“Without further action, the pandemic will continue to have a disproportionate impact on all marginalised groups, including migrant communities, people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, and BME communities,” the groups warn. 

The campaigners want the Department of Health and Social Care to end NHS charging and implement a “firewall” to guarantee information will not be shared.

GPs must also be provided support to register people who do not have documents or a home address, as legally required, they added.  

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