Forty percent of inmates in California’s state prison system have been vaccinated against the coronavirus, even though the state as a whole is rolling out vaccines much more slowly to the general population.
According to the latest statistics, posted by the New York Times, 14% of California residents have received “at least one shot” of the COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine created by Pfizer as part of Operation Warp Speed requires a two-shot regimen to be fully effective.
In contrast, 40% of prison inmates in the state have been vaccinated, according to the Los Angeles Times:
About 40% of people in the custody of California’s corrections system have received the COVID-19 vaccine, a figure praised by prison advocates who say that only a fraction of the state’s vaccine is needed to protect a population that’s one of the most vulnerable to the virus.
Across the state, 211 prisoners and 26 corrections staff members have died from complications related to COVID-19. Social distancing is difficult in crowded settings like prisons, and the virus has many chances to enter as staff come and go.
As of Feb. 8, 76% of all incarcerated people within CDCR had either received at least one dose of the vaccine or had been infected with the virus, according to a filing submitted as part of the enforcement proceedings for Plata vs. Newsom, a long-running lawsuit against the state of California related to issues of access to medical care in prisons.
The Los Angeles Times adds that 70% of prisoners who have been offered the vaccine have taken it.
Last year, San Quentin State Prison suffered a coronavirus outbreak, allegedly as the result of a decision to move infected prisoners from one facility to another. Prisoners are considered a high-priority population for vaccination because of the difficulty of social distancing in prison.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.