DOC preparing for vaccination of inmates and detainees

Bill 99-36 proposes to use the 15% that is deposited into the General Fund by the pay-phone provider to ensure that all inmates and detainees can have no-cost telephonic services to contact their attorneys. (PNC file photo)

Inmates and detainees confined at the Department of Corrections may get vaccinated against the coronavirus in the coming weeks.

According to the Joint Information Center, the Vaccine Policy Committee expanded the COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to prisoners earlier this month.

Department of Corrections spokesperson Major Antone Aguon says DOC director Joe Carbullido is in constant contact with Public Health to discuss the implementation of the vaccination for DOC.

While not all details have been laid out, Aguon says hopefully inmates can get vaccinated by next month or June at the latest.

Hopefully, Aguon says there will be progress to the vaccination plan in the coming days.

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Aguon says the vaccination logistics may be the same as the COVID-testing done by Public Health at DOC a while back.

In an interview with Newstalk K57’s Patti Arroyo, Major Aguon says while COVID-19 vaccines are offered to inmates, it is their choice to get vaccinated.

“We can’t force them to take it. We can not require them to take the vaccine. It’s a medical decision on their part. We can only educate them on the benefits of the vaccine and hope that they are willing to take the vaccine,” Aguon said.

Meanwhile, Carbullido says in order to get the inmates vaccinated, the department must submit a census of the detainees confined at DOC.

Carbullido says there are around 550 detainees confined at DOC.

He says Public Health is now coordinating a daily vaccination plan for DOC.