By Shermain Bique-Charles
More prison inmates and officers will be given an opportunity today to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.
The AstraZeneca jab, according to Acting Superintendent of the Prison Jermaine Anthony, is not mandatory.
A decision was taken yesterday by the Prison Medical Team, along with officials from the Ministry of Health, to widen the vaccination drive at Her Majesty’s Prison in St John’s.
“First thing when everyone is up and about it will be revealed to the inmates because they were already locked away when the decision was taken. Let me remind that it is voluntary and they can accept or decline,” Anthony said.
Around 65 inmates and more than 30 officers have already been vaccinated since the programme was rolled out to ‘1735’ in early March.
There are currently 244 prisoners in the Coronation Road institution which is staffed by 95 officers.
A total of 32 inmates tested positive for Covid-19 earlier this month, along with three staff. Several more officers are currently on sick leave with non-Covid related illnesses.
All positive prisoners have since been retested and a handful of results received Wednesday night revealed four of them now show negative results.
All infected inmates are currently being housed at an offsite location in Crabbs to curtail further contagion – and all are asymptomatic, Anthony told Observer last night.
Two of the infected officers are at home with the third in a government quarantine facility, he added. The three officers are still awaiting follow-up test results.