UK urges illegal immigrants to come forward and get Covid-19 jab as government promises they won’t be reprimanded

The British government has urged illegal immigrants to get vaccinated against Covid-19, adding that everyone can get the jab free of charge and they won’t be punished because of their immigration status.

“Coronavirus vaccines will be offered to everyone living in the UK free of charge, regardless of immigration status,” a UK government spokesman said on Monday morning. 

“Those registered with a GP are being contacted at the earliest opportunity and we are working closely with partners and external organisations to contact those who are not registered with a GP to ensure they are also offered the vaccine,” the spokesman added.

The comments come after the Daily Mail reported on Sunday that the UK would not introduce ‘immigration status checks’ on patients who come forward for vaccination. 

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The paper suggests that as many as 1.2 million undocumented individuals or illegal migrants could come forward and get the jab without any repercussions. 

Natalie Elphicke, Conservative MP for Dover, told the Daily Mail that “Once people are in our country, it’s in all our interests to contain the virus. So vaccinating everyone whose turn it is on public health grounds, in the end, will protect us all.”

A 2017 study by the Pew Research Centre suggested that there were between 800,000 and 1.2 million ‘unauthorised immigrants’ in the UK.

As of Saturday, more than 12 million Britons have received at least one Covid-19 jab, as the nation looks to hit its target of administering 15 million vaccines by mid-February.

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