A large majority of correctional staff in America still remain unvaccinated despite the majority being eligible.
Although a vast majority of correctional staff in the United States have been eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine for many months, they have yet to raise the number of vaccinations amongst prison staff. Correctional staff were prioritized for the COVID vaccine before inmates and others against the advice of many in the medical community. The reason for this, however, was to provide a sort of “barrier” of immune officers so as not to pass the virus onto new inmates and those entering the prison. A study found that the majority of correctional officers within prisons refused to get vaccinated, exposing large swaths of prisoners at risk amid the pandemic.
PrisonPolicy.org reports on this, where they cite a number of figures. They write, “We compiled data from the UCLA Law COVID-19 Behind Bars Data Project, The Marshall Project/AP, and other sources, and calculated the current rate of staff immunizations in 36 states and the Bureau of Prisons. We found that across these jurisdictions, the median vaccination rate — i.e. the percentage of staff who had received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose — was only 48%.” The effects on prisoners getting the virus remains to be seen, as there hasn’t been a large outbreak of cases within prisons since this data was made public.
ARTICLE: ETHAN FINN
POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: ARMOR UP
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