JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — Starting Wednesday, the Jefferson County Jail will now be vaccinating inmates.
Since last March, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office has had 138 COVID-19 cases. The corrections facility was the most heavily impacted, with 72 personnel contracting the virus. The patrol division had 36 affected personnel, according to the sheriff’s office.
Inmates were also affected by COVID-19, with many protocol changes being made to reduce the virus’s spread. Approximately 142 inmates have contracted the coronavirus since March 6, 2020. Two inmates required being sent to the hospital. No COVID-19 related deaths have been reported.
The Moderna vaccine is now being offered to Jefferson County inmates. Deputy Chief David Agee said that although inmates are not required to be vaccinated, each inmate must fill out a consent form if they want the shot. With a second dose necessary, their vaccine information is put into a database to streamline vaccines if an inmate was transferred to another facility.
Over 1,000 inmates are housed at the Jefferson County Jail. JCSO said the jails are sanitized weekly and cleaned daily. Personnel are also reportedly provided with PPE and sanitizing materials.
JCSO said that to help slow the spread of COVID-19 among inmates and staff, the inmate population was decreased wherever possible. After being processed into the jail, inmates are tested for COVID-19 and placed in a quarantine unit for two weeks.
Jail staff have all been offered an opportunity to be vaccinated through the department.