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ACLU of Maine urges officials to prioritize prisons, jails, detention facilities in COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan

Jails and prisons have been the site of coronavirus outbreaks in the state.
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covid19 vaccine(Maine Medical Center)
Published: Dec. 24, 2020 at 6:17 PM EST
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - The ACLU of Maine is urging Maine DHHS and CDC to prioritize prisons, jails and detention facilities in its COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan.

Jails and prisons have been the site of coronavirus outbreaks in the state.

One, at the Maine Correctional Center in Windham, sickened dozens of inmates.

Yesterday it was announced that a prisoner at Mountain View Correctional facility in Charleston had died from the virus.

Maine is in the midst of rolling out coronavirus vaccines to front-line health workers and residents of long-term care facilities.

The sate has not yet determined which phase of the plan to include incarcerated people.

”It is safer to vaccinate everyone, both guards and incarcerated people because people who work in carceral facilities should not have to fear death and serious injury when they go to work. So, this is not just about incarcerated people, although it is that these are members of our society regardless of what they have done, but it’s also protecting wider communities,” said Meagan Sway with the ACLU of Maine.

The state has vaccinated more than 13,000 people so far.

But Dr. Shah says supply constraints make it difficult to plan too far into the future.

Dr. Shah says it’s impossible to know when coronavirus vaccines could reach inmates in the state’s prisons and jails because of the limited supply of the vaccine.

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