We reported that very few Perryville residents have received their first Covid shot. We also told you that the inmates that did get them were overwhelming white.
People of color make up a disproportionately large percentage of the prison population and severe Covid outcomes. Complicating matters in getting a vaccine roll-out in American prisons, has been the reluctance of the states to make vaccines available to prisoners. A few weeks ago only half of the states were offering prisoners shots. Only a few States (not AZ), have offered vaccinations to every adult in prison. According to the Marshall Project, less than 20% of state and federal prisoners have been vaccinated. Prison staff has shown a high rate of staff declining the vaccine, which only exacerbates inmate reluctance and skepticism.
The CDC recommends prioritizing vaccines to inmates to protect them and their communities from the virus. What info has AZDOC put out for their inmates? About two months ago they issued a ‘survey’ to ask if the inmate was interested in receiving a shot. Then, in the beginning of March they posted a *Covid19 Fact Sheet*. In part, it reads, ‘Who can get the vaccine and when’— It’s free and voluntary–Information will be provided later. ‘About the vaccine’.– This will be the Moderna vaccine, dividend into two doses—It MAY (caps mine) prevent you from getting Covid.’ (Wow, what a ringing endorsement!) Then it adds ‘Side effects’ — fatigue, headaches, fever, chills, and muscle aches.’
Like the ACLU said, ‘Incarcerated people can’t just hop on the computer and search info, they can’t go to the Doctor of their choice and discuss the pros and cons.’