SolidarityNow Survey: “The vaccination status of refugees and migrants against Covid-19”

Copyright Steven Tagle for SolidarityNow

Access to vaccines for Third Country Nationals

SolidarityNow conducted a survey to collect information regarding the access to COVID-19 vaccines for beneficiaries of the organization’s programs who are Third Country Nationals (TCNs) residing in Greece. The survey took place during December 2021 and the relevant report including its results was elaborated in January 2022.

SolidarityNow reached out to a representative sample of 497 individuals, beneficiaries of the organization, asking a set of questions to learn about their experience with the vaccination process, barriers faced and areas of concern. The survey found that 81% of participants had been vaccinated, despite the multitude of challenges faced. 62% of the vaccinated, stated that they proceeded with the vaccination to protect themselves, friends, and family, 28% to move around freely and 12% because they were obliged to do so by their employer.


  1. Individuals participating in the survey and are eligible to stay in Greece have access to the vaccination system either independently or with the support of NGO staff and/or friends and social media.
  2. Most of the participants of the survey (81%) were vaccinated.
  3. The main reasons stated for those who are not vaccinated, were personal (16%) as well as legal barriers (14%).
  4. A common challenge for both the vaccinated and non-vaccinated was the lack of knowledge regarding the vaccination process.
  5. More than 10% had been facing issues regarding their Social Security numbers.
  6. Only 9% feel insecure vis-a-vis the COVID-19 vaccine.

“It is encouraging that a certain population of exceptionally vulnerable people, has shown and continues to show a high level of adjustment during an unprecedented health condition, which has further worsened their social status. Despite being last in the vaccination access pyramid, and having to overcome the existing bureaucratic problems that delay or often deprive them of equal and timely access to rights and benefits, Third Country Nationals stood by the collective effort to protect society. This is yet another proof that the stereotypical approach, as well as any kind of discrimination among population groups, are meaningless in the open societies in which we want to live. For us at SolidarityNow, it is also a strong indication that we must continue supporting and strengthening their social integration”, Antigone Lyberaki, General Manager.

Survey Participants’ Status

Most of the participants were between 18-40 years of age (75%), while 5% where minors, mostly unaccompanied. Most of the participants were male (75%). The majority of the participants originated from Afghanistan (24%), Pakistan (19%), Iran (13%) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (10%).

Of the total number of participants, 50% were asylum seekers, while 38% were already recognized as refugees or in possession of a residence permit. Among the participants, 12% were not eligible to stay in Greece or in transit, whilst 3% has received a second rejection. Undocumented individuals mainly from Pakistan (13%) stated that they have applied for asylum in Greece and are in limbo.

Find the full report here.

*The survey was an initiative of the Athens Solidarity Center by SolidarityNow which is supported by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) in the framework of its global COVID-19 Relief Initiative.