INMATES, CORRECTIONAL WORKERS TO BE AMONG FIRST TO GET VACCINE IN MASS. BUT ROLLOUT PLAN IS HAZY
Dec 12, 2020
By Laura Crimaldi
Governor Charlie Baker went above and beyond US Centers for Disease Control recommendations in announcing Wednesday that all Massachusetts jail and prison inmates and staffers would be among the first to get vaccinated.
But days later, as a second spike of coronavirus cases rages inside correctional facilities, it remains unclear just how officials plan to roll out a vaccination program for an estimated 22,000 people who work or are incarcerated in jails and prisons, where testing remains an issue and cleanliness and crowding are a perpetual challenge.
“We have no details about how it’s going to happen,” said Elizabeth Matos, executive director of the nonprofit Prisoners’ Legal Services of Massachusetts. “The virus is still raging and people are still contracting it at very high rates.”
The Massachusetts Department of Correction and its medical vendor referred questions about the vaccine distribution plan to the state’s COVID-19 Response Command Center. The command center declined to release details, saying more information would be available once vaccine shipments reach the state this month.