Tennessee: Some Inmates Now Qualify For COVID-19 Vaccine

FILE - In this Monday, Jan. 4, 2021, file photo, a red tag hangs on a cell door, signifying an active COVID-19 case for its inhabitants at Faribault Prison, in Faribault, Minn. A Tennessee advisory panel tasked with determining eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine acknowledged that prison inmates in the state were high risk, but concluded that prioritizing them for inoculation could be a “public relations nightmare.” (Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune via AP, File)

(AP) — Tennessee officials say some of the state’s prisoners will receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The announcement comes two days after The Associated Press reported that an advisory panel concluded inoculating inmates could be a “PR nightmare.”

However, the Department of Correction will only provide the COVID-19 shot to inmates who qualify as part of other groups the state has prioritized. Department of Correction spokesperson Dorinda Carter said Tuesday that the agency has ordered 2,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and 980 doses of the Moderna vaccine. They will be distributed to inmates who are 65 and older or have health conditions that put them in groups already given priority status by the state.


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