ARIZONA NEWS

COVID-19 vaccine now available to eligible metro Phoenix jail inmates

Mar 18, 2021, 12:15 PM
(Photo by Ernesto Ryan/Getty Images)...
(Photo by Ernesto Ryan/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ernesto Ryan/Getty Images)

PHOENIX – Authorities started vaccinating eligible metro Phoenix jail inmates for COVID-19 on Thursday morning.

Maricopa County Public Health allocated 400 doses of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine to Correctional Health Services, according to a press release.

The shots are available to inmates ages 55 and older who want them. The county’s jail facilities had 318 inmates in that category Thursday, according to the release.

The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office is supporting Correctional Health Services in distributing the vaccines.

“Providing the COVID-19 vaccine to our incarcerated population is yet another step to help keep our inmates, staff and medical personnel safe and healthy,” Sheriff Paul Penzone said in the release.

“We are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel and are appreciative for the partnership with CHS and Public Health as we continue working towards restarting jail programs, expanding resources, and turning the page on this pandemic.”

There were 69 active cases in custody as of Wednesday, 1.2% of the jail population, according to the CHS COVID-19 dashboard.

About 12,400 inmates have been tested in 2021, with 743 getting a positive result.

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COVID-19 vaccine now available to eligible metro Phoenix jail inmates