The Tennessee advisory board charged with determining the order in which people should receive COVID-19 vaccines decided that inmates are at serious risk of infection but should receive inoculations last. The Pandemic Vaccine Planning Stakeholder group said that if prisoners go without vaccines they “will be a vector of general population transmission,” but that giving them the vaccine ahead of anyone else would be a “public relations nightmare” that would entail “lots of media inquiries,” according to meetings minutes ranging from September to December 2020 obtained by the Associated Press. One in three prisoners in the state has tested positive for the coronavirus, the AP reports. Correctional facility staff, on the other hand, were among the people eligible earliest in the state for the vaccine, just after first responders.
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