Some 49,000 Afghans still at U.S. bases and transit points in Europe

Afghan refugees will soon be arriving again in the U.S. after a massive campaign to vaccinate them against measles following a small outbreak that caused a three-week pause in evacuations, officials said Monday.

Authorities have administered the vaccination to about 49,000 evacuees staying temporarily on American military bases as well as to those still at transit points in Europe and the Middle East, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

The measles outbreak, detected in 24 people, had put on hold one of the largest refugee resettlement efforts in U.S. history, dubbed Operation Allies Welcome. It also stranded about 15,000 at overseas transit points.

“The success of this vaccination campaign demonstrates our commitment to the health and well-being of arriving Afghan evacuees, the personnel assisting this mission, and the American people,” Dr. Pritesh Gandhi, the DHS chief medical officer, said in announcing the completion of the effort.

© Copyright LaPresse