ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona corrections department offering booster shots to inmates

Jan 10, 2022, 8:00 PM
(File Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)...
(File Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
(File Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — As the omicron variant of COVID-19 surges across Arizona, the state’s corrections department recently announced it would offer booster shots to inmates who have been fully vaccinated against the virus.

The Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation, and Reentry in a press release said the boosters are being rolled out across all 10 state prison complexes in addition to six private contract facilities.

Since February 2020, 12,800 inmates have tested positive for the virus, according to the department’s dashboard, which represents 20.11% of the state prison population. There have been 56 confirmed inmate deaths from COVID-19.

Vaccines for the virus are encouraged but not mandatory for inmates, the department said.

“The COVID-19 booster shots, particularly amid the latest variant, will go a long way in helping our outstanding correctional officers and professional staff, as we continue our work to mitigate COVID-19 within our congregate correctional setting,” ADCRR Director David Shinn said in the release.

Booster shots are also being offered at each state prison facility to officers and professional staff of the department.

The state corrections department said COVID-19 protocols will continue, such as face coverings being mandatory for inmates in indoor settings when outside of their housing unit.

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Arizona corrections department offering booster shots to inmates