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Some federal prison workers are expected to get vaccinated against COVID-19 on Wednesday, officials said.
“A few” US prisons will receive doses by then, and immunizations will be offered to some of their full-time workers, a spokesman for the federal Bureau of Prisons told CNN on Monday.
“Vaccinating staff protects the staff member, the inmates at the facility and the community,” the rep, Emery Nelson, told the outlet in a statement.
“The BOP plans to initially offer the vaccine to full-time staff given that staff — who come and go between the facility and the community — present a higher potential vector for transmission.”
It was not immediately unclear which federal prisons would be getting the immunizations first.
The move comes amid a debate over whether prison workers or inmates should be vaccinated first, given the danger of contracting the virus in the high-population, close-proximity setting.
According to New York’s current “Vaccination Program,” its state prisons fall into Phase Two in terms of who gets vaccinated. That category — after the top one involving front-line health-care workers and nursing-home residents — also includes first-responders such as cops and other essential workers.
By comparison, Massachusetts officials have announced that both inmates and prison workers would be among the state’s first wave of people to get the vaccine, along with health-care workers and nursing-home residents.