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Idaho Department of Correction inmates vaccinated ahead of general public

IDOC says the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine has been administered to just under 600 inmates.

BOISE, Idaho — Every Idahoan between the ages of 16-14 with at least one qualifying medical condition became eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday. After this group is given priority for one week, all Idahoans age 16-44 will become eligible on April 5.

While vaccine priority groups are nearly finished receiving the vaccine, there are still other groups to be vaccinated before then, including those living in congregate settings.

"Congregate settings" include dormitory housing for workers, group housing for persons in substance misuse treatment or recovery or with mental illness who do not require hospitalization, residential treatment or recovery facility, dormitory housing for students, and adult correctional and detention facilities, according to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s website.

The Idaho Department of Correction (IDOC) and Corizon Health, the company that provides healthcare to inmates, have been administering vaccinations for about a month now and have given almost 600 doses to inmates.

Inmates are given a choice of whether to be vaccinated or not, according to IDOC spokesmen Jeff Ray. As more inmates get vaccinated, more movement and activities will be allowed in the facilities, including visitation. There is currently no clear timeline on when that might resume.

Idaho Gov. Brad Little announced all Idahoans over the age of 16 will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine by April 5 last week. The timeline was moved up after President Biden issued a national deadline of May 1 for all people to be eligible to get vaccinated because the supply of vaccines outweighed the demand in Idaho.

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