RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The North Carolina prison system received its first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines and began administering them to certain inmates and staff on Wednesday.
The state Department of Public Safety said 1,000 of the 1,300 Moderna vaccines allocated for the prison system this week arrived. The remaining doses are expected to be delivered soon.
“I urge everyone to get vaccinated,” said Todd Ishee, commissioner of prisons. “This is our best shot to protect the health and safety of our colleagues and their families as well as the men and women in our custody. Science has thrown us a lifeline. Everyone should grab ahold.”
The limited supply will be available to those offenders and staff members in Groups 1 and 2.
• Prisons healthcare staff including those administering vaccines.
• Staff who work in COVID-positive housing units or who work directly with COVID-positive offenders.
• Staff and offenders age 75 or older. Vaccination opportunities will expand to age 65 or older based on vaccine availability.
Vaccination is currently voluntary.
NCDPS said there are 14,000 staff members and 29,000 inmates in the system.
The North Carolina National Guard is assisting in vaccinating staff from the region at Central Prison at least through Friday.