State details plan for vaccinating inmates as concern grows over outbreaks, deaths

State details plan for vaccinating inmates as concern grows over outbreaks, deaths
(Source: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - State officials are in the midst of vaccinating Hawaii’s inmates amid growing concern over COVID-19 outbreaks and deaths.

Under the state’s updated vaccination plan, prisoners qualify for the current phase of 1B because of their living conditions and history of outbreaks.

The state Department of Public Safety said it already started vaccinating inmates on Oahu in January. About half of those eligible opted to get vaccinated.

Vaccinations for inmates at Maui Community Correctional Center begin next week, officials said.

MCCC is currently dealing with an outbreak, with 25 prisoners are considered “active positives.”

[READ MORE: Reform advocates blast state over COVID-related inmate deaths at prison]

And on Kauai and Hawaii Island, inmate vaccinations are slated to begin in early March.

Hawaii inmates at Saguaro Correctional Center in Arizona will get vaccinated next week. They fall under county vaccination guidelines in Arizona.

Prison reform advocates have been demanding answers from state lawmakers following the deaths of six inmates at the Halawa Correctional Facility. One inmate died just weeks before his release after spending three decades behind bars.

The Hawaii Correctional Systems Oversight Commission is investigating the fatalities.

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