The Federal Emergency Management Agency has opened a COVID-19 vaccination site near Dulles International Airport in Virginia, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday, according to The Associated Press.
The federal government also reportedly has opened a mobile vaccination unit at Dulles to administer shots to American citizens and green card holders arriving from Afghanistan.
Dulles has been the only point of entry for evacuees so far, with thousands arriving there daily. Civilian flights with refugees are set to begin arriving in Philadelphia as soon as Friday, and a senior Biden administration official told the AP a second mass vaccination site is expected at Philadelphia International Airport in the coming days. The official was not authorized to comment publicly and spoke on the condition of anonymity.
What happens when evacuees reach the U.S.
Thousands of Afghans and Afghan U.S. citizens have arrived this month through Dulles via places such as Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Germany, Spain and Bulgaria. Grant Neely, a spokesperson for Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, put that number at 8,600 on Wednesday.
Arriving evacuees are tested for the coronavirus and isolated if they test positive. U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents who test negative are allowed to go home.
Just 11 of the 900 Afghan evacuees who were tested on Tuesday appeared to be infected with the virus, Neely said, according to the source.
Afghans are taken to the Dulles Expo Center, then to military bases in Virginia, Texas, Wisconsin and New Jersey for processing.
There, they undergo health screenings and get help applying for work authorization and other services, Reuters reported. The processing can take anywhere from one day to one week, at which point Afghans get connected with U.S. resettlement organizations.