The Biden administration has promised that Afghan refugees being lifted out will be vetted and backgrounds checked against biometric data.

Though this is not necessary isolated to only Afghan refugees, has the Biden administration put forth protocols it will follow regarding prevention/screening/vetting of health status of refugees, specifically: multi-drug resistant TB, HIV, and Hepatitis B&C, and of course, Covid status?


At least on paper the US has had such protocols for long time, at least for latent TB, including in children, since at least 2007. I'm not sure what if anything special is going to be done for the Afghan ones, but I doubt the testing would be waived.

Apparently the US also screens for hepatis in refugees on arrival. The screening policy for HIV is somewhat complicated.

There's testing and vaccination for Covid-19 in Afghan refugees as well. It seems the vaccination is voluntary, but the testing mandatory (and quarantine if positive), although the details are somewhat hazy at this point. Apparently the Covid testing happens centrally at Dulles Expo Center, which seems to serve as central arrival hub, but the rest of the "regular" health screenings happen thereafter at various military bases "in Virginia, Texas, Wisconsin and New Jersey". In contrast, the security vetting happens before they even reach US soil, at the various foreign military bases "in Europe or Asia" the US military is using.

On the other hand, there's some reporting that

Congress passed bipartisan legislation as part of the supplemental security spending bill that is meant to improve and expedite the SIV program, and President Joe Biden signed it into law in late July.

The changes included lowering the eligibility requirement for applicants from two years to one year of service and waiving the medical evaluation, removing the requirement that those who were employed by the International Security Assistance Force and Resolute Support performed "sensitive and trusted" activities and changes to the process of appealing denials.

But that seems to contradict the other reporting, so one would have to check the law for exactly what's been waved in re "medical evaluation". It's possible that the abroad-portion of the evaluation has been waived, as there is normally that too for refugees... the CDC divides the evaluation pages for refugees in two sections "overseas" and "domestic". The "overseas" part requires proof of various immunizations (done abroad) for instance, which might have become infeasible in Afghanistan. Apparently that's the case, the overseas-portion of the evaluation seems to have been waived, and only for SIV:

Please follow the steps below before your immigrant visa interview at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Step 1: Get a medical exam in Afghanistan As soon as you receive your appointment date, you must schedule a medical exam in Afghanistan. Click the “Medical Exam Instructions” button below for a list of designated doctors’ offices in Afghanistan. Please schedule and attend a medical exam with one of these doctors before your interview.

**EXCEPTION: SIV applicants should skip Step 1 and wait to schedule a medical examination until instructed to do so by the U.S. Embassy’s Consular Section. This will generally happen after the visa interview when administrative processing is complete. Otherwise, you may have to pay for your medical examination to be repeated. ** [...]

[OTOH, e.g.] If you are interviewing for a Diversity Visa (DV), all of the above instructions apply to you. Please schedule and attend a medical examination prior to your visa interview, and gather the required documents.

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