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COVID-19 Vaccinations Underway For State Inmates

Advanced registered nurse practitioner Erin Forsythe administers the COVID-19 vaccine in Seattle, Washington.
Advanced registered nurse practitioner Erin Forsythe administers the COVID-19 vaccine in Seattle, Washington.

Inmates in West Virginia’s state jails and prisons are beginning to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

This week, almost 1,000 state inmates received a dose of the single shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

More than 10,000 people reside in state corrections facilities. No inmates at state jails or juvenile centers have received a dose yet.

At a virtual press conference Friday, Gov. Jim Justice briefly mentioned that inmates are being vaccinated.

“There's a plan in place to move forward with the vaccine,” Justice said. “We’re on it.”

But the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has not released details yet on how the vaccine rollout will continue.

Advocacy groups like the West Virginia American Civil Liberties Union want to see a plan.

“This is a good first step, but it is still necessary for state officials to provide immediately to the public set dates by which it intends to have offered vaccinations to all who are living in state correctional facilities,” ACLU Legal Director Loree Stark wrote in a statement.

The ACLU and Mountain State Justice had threatened to sue the state last week if vaccinations didn’t begin by April 5.


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