Why it's Dangerous that Workers in PA Prisons, COVID-19 Hot Spots, Aren’t Getting Vaccinated



Spotlight PA: Joseph Darius Jaafari - April 25, 2021


A delayed upgrade to the state Department of Corrections’ dashboard on covid-19 rates in prisons has revealed that only 20% of correctional staff and officers who work in prisons have reported being vaccinated.


Alternatively, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than half of all American adults have received at least one shot, which is similar to the number of incarcerated people in Pennsylvania who have gotten one.


The department relaunched its public-facing data last week with updated vaccine numbers, one month after its self-imposed deadline. Spotlight PA revealed in January that its data were unreliable, prompting the dashboard to be temporarily removed for an overhaul.


The new site shows that as of April 21, out of 15,852 correctional staffers, only 3,133 were fully or partially vaccinated. At facilities in Albion, Fayette, Pine Grove, and Smithfield, 90% of staff or more remained unvaccinated.


In contrast, as of the same date, out of 37,245 people held inside facilities, 19,490 have received a vaccine.


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