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Tennessee panel calls vaccination of convicts a “PR nightmare”

NASIVIL, Tenna. (AP) – The Tennessee Advisory Committee on how residents should get the COVID-19 vaccine has acknowledged that prisoners in the state are at high risk, but concluded that vaccination could be a “public relations nightmare” for them. :

The result. Prisoners are among the last vaccine groups in the state, although the Epidemic Vaccine Planning Stakeholder Group concluded that “if left untreated, they will be a vector of general population transmission,” according to closed-door panel protocols. received by the Associated Press. To date, there is no clear timetable for the release of prison vaccines.

The debate in the state of Tennessee reflects a problem that the states face when distributing rescue vaccines. Prioritize the population, which is considered by many to be a further idea at best, isolated from society դեպքում at worst, not worthy. The resistance comes when medical experts have argued since the beginning of the epidemic that prisoners are at too high a risk of infection because they live in very close contact with each other and have little capacity for social distance.

“It shows a lack of morality – a lack of compassion to allow someone to die or put them at greater risk because they happened to be in prison by accident. “Before anyone was imprisoned, they were first someone’s child, mother, brother, father or sister. They continue to be like that. They need to be considered, cared for, seen as such,” he said. “No exceptions.” Executive Director Nani Alexander. Prison Collective, a major Nashville-based organization.

A few months ago, when COVID-19 cases became widespread in the United States, the Associated Press իծը The Marshall Project raised rates of infection among the prison population. The analysis found that in mid-December, one in five U.S. federal prisoners tested positive for the coronavirus, more than four times the general population. Incidents declined at the time, but were higher than the general population.

COVID-19 inmates are ranked 24th in Tennessee. To date, one in three inmates in the state, a total of more than 38,800, have tested positive for the virus since the outbreak began almost a year ago. More than 40 convicts have died from COVID-19.

So far, the state has vaccinated an unknown number of correctional personnel. Tennessee does not publish this information, as other states do, but no prisoners. Twenty-four states have allowed at least some of their captive populations to be vaccinated, including those qualified by the state’s age guidelines or with pre-existing health conditions, according to the AP և Marshall Plan.

Over the past year, sometimes the largest coronavirus groups in the United States have been in Tennessee prisons, with hundreds of active cases in many institutions.

During the spring, Tensedil Turner Correctile, a private jail run by Tennessee-based CoreCivic, found that about half of its 2,444 inmates tested positive for the coronavirus, while more than 1,100 inmates at the 1,700-strong South Central Correctional Facility were infected. The state only reported 17 positive cases of convicts as of Friday. The visit has been suspended for months. The state has a population of about 30,000 in prisons and about 19,000 in local prisons.

The pandemic vaccine stakeholder meeting documents, in fact, underscored the wider public’s view that prisoners were “people” who should be treated as “part of the community”; However, the documents acknowledge that providing the vaccine to convicts would lead to “numerous media inquiries.”

The council consists of approximately 40 health agencies, legislators, health coalitions, and other emergency management organizations. Because it serves as a consultancy, Tennessee law does not require a public meeting, և there are no audio recordings of the meetings, according to the Department of Health. The AP obtained the meeting notes through a public records survey.

According to the documents, the group first met, in fact, on September 22, before the vaccines became available. Tennessee’s incarcerated population appeared during that meeting when the commission spoke of a population that may have been ignored.

“Understand that this will be a (public relations) nightmare, but a possible responsibility to the state,” said one document, which was not named by anyone.

Later in December, when the group met to discuss the rise of certain age groups, as well as teachers, prisoners were discussed again.

“If we get hit hard in prisons, it affects the whole community. “The disease leaves correctional facilities and returns to the general public as convicts are released from their sentences,” the document said, adding that when patients become ill, “it is the taxpayers who have to absorb the bill for treatment.”

Eventually, the correctional workers and the guards clashed until one of the earliest places, next to the first responders. At the same time, the prisoners remained in the last eligible group. Even now, senior prisoners who can qualify under the state age qualification are still not immunized.

Tennessee is currently the 47th most vaccinated state in the state. More than 14% of the state’s 7 million people received at least one dose of the vaccine, while more than 7% received two shots, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The state has been increasing the acceptability of vaccines in recent weeks. Starting next week, the vaccine will be available to people over the age of 16 who already have a history of cancer, hypertension, obesity, pregnancy, caregivers or households with fragile children.



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