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NC Prisons administers COVID booster to all eligible, consenting inmates

By Brittany Whitehead

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    NORTH CAROLINA (WLOS) — As of Friday, Jan. 14, the North Carolina Division of Prisons has administered COVID-19 booster shots to all offenders who consented and were eligible by that date.

Through a continuing booster campaign, NCDOP has now provided boosters to around 15,000 offenders. With the assistance of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, medical staff are working to ensure these additional boosters are recorded in the CVMS database.

“We have worked hard to get shots in arms, and greatly accelerated this initiative over the past few weeks,” said Commissioner of Prisons Todd Ishee. “This is an ongoing effort to do all that we can to keep people healthy and safe, and we are committed to providing booster shots to willing offenders when they become eligible.”

Booster administration remains ongoing to eligible offenders who change their minds and wish to be boosted as well as to fully vaccinated offenders who become newly eligible and consent to be boosted.

As of Jan. 14, officials said around 35 to 40% of those eligible at that point declined the booster shot.

Through extensive education efforts, the number of those accepting a booster increased during this most recent booster initiative.

A total of almost 22,000 offenders have voluntarily been fully vaccinated, which is almost 80% of the prison population.

With current CDC guidelines calling for a five-month interval between the second shot of Moderna and eligibility to receive booster shots, a number of offenders each week will become newly eligible to receive booster shots and, as a result, the booster program will remain ongoing for the foreseeable future. Vaccinations will continue to be offered.

The North Carolina state prison system has taken more than four dozen actions to prevent COVID-19 from getting into the prisons, to help prevent it from spreading to other prisons and to confine it within a prison if it does get in.

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