Harrisburg, PA – Following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for individuals who live or work in high-risk settings, the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) today began offering COVID-19 boosters to staff and the incarcerated population at its facilities.
More than 90 percent of the incarcerated population has been vaccinated against COVID-19. Similar to the DOC's initial vaccination efforts, those who receive a booster will be given a $25 incentive in their commissary account from the Inmate General Welfare Fund (IGWF). The IGWF self-supporting and not taxpayer funded.
"The DOC's exemplary inmate vaccination rate has contributed to the low rate of COVID-19 infection and resulting serious illness, hospitalization, or death from the virus," said DOC Acting Secretary George Little. "By providing and incentivizing the vaccine booster, we will further protect the health of the incarcerated population, staff, and the community.
Vaccination and the newly available booster remain voluntary. An incarcerated individual is considered "vaccinated" in the DOC system after receiving the initial Janssen vaccine or two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. Due to the availability and storage capability of the Pfizer vaccine, the department will be offering inmates and staff either the Johnson and Johnson or the Moderna booster; however, inmates who have received the initial Pfizer vaccine will be eligible for the Pfizer booster. Also, staff electing for the Pfizer booster are asked to schedule with an outside provider at this time.
The DOC is also once again offering flu shots to the incarcerated population. Each facility will host flu shot clinics, and those electing to participate will receive a $5 incentive in their commissary account from the IGWF. Flu shots are also available to staff at no cost.
Updated information on the DOC's COVID-19 response is available at cor.pa.gov.
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