Opinion: Why Vaccinating People in Prison Should Be a Priority

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US News: Wendy Netter Epstein - February 19th, 2021


Watson Gray, at 73, survived cancer and strokes but suffered from diabetes, high blood pressure and coronary heart disease.


When COVID-19 hit in 2020, Gray was an inmate at Dixon Correctional Center in Dixon, Illinois. He had no ability to isolate and limited access to protective equipment like masks. He contracted COVID-19 while incarcerated and died of it late last year, having not seen his family for over eight months.


As of mid-December, 1 in every 5 prisoners in the United States had tested positive for the coronavirus, according to an analysis by The Marshall Project and The Associated Press. That's a rate more than four times as high as the rate of the general population. At least 2,400 prisoners have died in connection with COVID-19.


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