40% of California Prison Inmates Have Received Coronavirus Vaccine

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According to the latest statistics, posted by the New York Times, 14% of California residents have received “at least one shot” of the COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine created by Pfizer as part of Operation Warp Speed requires a two-shot regimen to be fully effective.

In contrast, 40% of prison inmates in the state have been vaccinated, according to the Los Angeles Times:

About 40% of people in the custody of California’s corrections system have received the COVID-19 vaccine, a figure praised by prison advocates who say that only a fraction of the state’s vaccine is needed to protect a population that’s one of the most vulnerable to the virus.

Across the state, 211 prisoners and 26 corrections staff members have died from complications related to COVID-19. Social distancing is difficult in crowded settings like prisons, and the virus has many chances to enter as staff come and go.

As of Feb. 8, 76% of all incarcerated people within CDCR had either received at least one dose of the vaccine or had been infected with the virus, according to a filing submitted as part of the enforcement proceedings for Plata vs. Newsom, a long-running lawsuit against the state of California related to issues of access to medical care in prisons.

The Los Angeles Times adds that 70% of prisoners who have been offered the vaccine have taken it.

Last year, San Quentin State Prison suffered a coronavirus outbreak, allegedly as the result of a decision to move infected prisoners from one facility to another. Prisoners are considered a high-priority population for vaccination because of the difficulty of social distancing in prison.