Liberia: COVID-19 Vaccines Extend to 2076 Inmates in Prisons across the Country

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Monrovia – The Bureau of Correction and Rehabilitation in partnership with the Ministry of Health has announced plans to vaccinate about 2,076 inmates that are in prisons across the country.

Speaking to the journalists at the Ministry of Justice on Tuesday the Director of Prisons and the Bureau of Correction at the Ministry of Justice S. Sainleseh Kwaidah says prisons are a vulnerable population that are part of the general population of Liberia.

According to him, when there is a health concern in the country, the prisons facilities like other areas need to be protected from such menace.

“The human rights platform of the Ministry of Justice in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, through its county health services supported by our partners have begun a process of making sure that the COVID-19 Vaccination extends to the prison populations,” Kwaidah said.

The objective of the initiative according to the Deputy Director of Prisons and the Bureau of Correction at the Ministry of Justice will help prevent the inmates who are behind bars from contracting the deadly coronavirus.

He added that since the start of the coronavirus, the Bureau of Correction at the Ministry of Justice has put in place all necessary health protocols instituted by the health authority in the country to protect inmates.

“Just as we have the largest population to be protected, we feel that the prison’s population needs to be protected,” Kwaidah said.

He added: “Getting vaccines to the prison is the equal right of the inmates and correctional officers. We want to make it clear that this endeavor is a voluntary exercise.”

Kwaidah calls on visitors, family members and other relatives to rally around the Bureau of Correction in creating some awareness about the vaccine.

The first test of the vaccine has taken place in Margibi County at the Kakata Central Prison. He says the initiative has produced lots of results at the prison in Kakata.

“Out of the update of our 174 inmates, 114 have responded to the vaccination including 15 officers out of 31 prison officers. This is just the start but we are hoping that at the end of this campaign, the 2076 inmates we have in our prisons across the country currently can take the advantage of the COVID-19 vaccination so that our prison population can completely be protected against this coronavirus,” he said

He disclosed that the Johnson and Johnson Vaccine will be given to the prison population by the county health team of each of the 15 counties across the country.

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