Mohd. Rohim, a 32-year-old asylum seeker from Myanmar who has been in Indonesia for a decade, says he has never worn a face mask during his interaction with the more than 100 asylum seekers and refugees who live together at the Hotel Pelangi shelter in Medan, North Sumatra. And because of how the Indonesian system is set up, he is among the thousands of refugees in the country who find themselves at the very back of the vaccination queue.

A little over 19 months into the global pandemic, Rohim said he was fully aware of the risks of ignoring the health protocols, even as it became known that seven people at his shelter had contracted the virus. One of the seven died in July after being treated for the disease. “I haven’t been vaccinated and I know it is very risky, but we [can only] gather here without keeping safe distance or wearing a mask,” he told

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