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Evacuees from Afghanistan in Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar. Photo: Karim Jaafar/AFP via Getty Images

U.S.-bound flights carrying Afghans will remain grounded for another week after four cases of measles were diagnosed among recent arrivals.

Why it matters: The process of evacuating and resettling Afghans following the U.S. withdrawal from the country is hitting another roadblock.

Flights were initially halted on Friday. The White House said that further transfer flights will be delayed until at least Monday.

  • Meanwhile, health officials are exploring the option of administering vaccines, including measles, mumps and rubella, at overseas bases where thousands of evacuees are currently awaiting transfer, principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Monday.

Details: A host of vaccinations are required for those arriving as part of Operation Allies Welcome, which is slated to admit up to 65,000 Afghan citizens to the U.S.

  • The pause came at the request of the CDC, Jean-Pierre said.
  • The Afghans who are diagnosed with measles are being quarantined, meanwhile, the CDC is conducting contact tracing, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Friday.

Background: Measles is a highly contagious virus that has been spreading more rapidly in recent years, per Axios' Sam Baker.

  • Though measles was declared eradicated in the U.S. in 2000, inoculation rates against the virus have declined in recent years, leading to new outbreaks.
  • The number of measles deaths worldwide has steadily increased, with over 200,000 deaths in 2019, a 60% increase from 2000, per Baker.

Editor's note: The job title of Karine Jean-Pierre was corrected to show she is the principal deputy press secretary (not press secretary).

Go deeper

Mapped: Afghan refugees headed to 46 states

Expand chart
Data: White House; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

The Biden administration notified governors and mayors on Wednesday of the number of Afghan evacuees their state is expected to receive in the coming weeks, two senior administration officials told Axios.

Why it matters: Although their exact immigration pathway is still unclear, an initial group of 37,000 Afghans will soon be headed to states across the country after many faced harrowing journeys from Afghanistan.

State Department partners with aid group welcoming Afghan refugees to U.S.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaking in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 14. Photo: Mandel Ngan-Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Thursday that the State Department is partnering with Welcome.US, an aid group helping to welcome and support Afghan refugees who fled their country for the U.S.

Why it matters: The partnership is part of the Biden administration's Operation Allies Welcome, which involves the processing and resettlement of the more than 65,000 Afghans evacuated during the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan.

6 hours ago - Health

Fauci: Omicron variant will "inevitably" be found in U.S.

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, cautioned on Sunday that the COVID-19 Omicron variant will "inevitably" be found in the United States.

Driving the news: Fauci, Biden's chief medical adviser, told ABC's George Stephanopoulos on "This Week" that U.S. officials will meet with colleagues from South Africa later on Sunday to try to determine the severity of the cases, as countries scramble to learn more about the variant.

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