Polk County to begin offering COVID-19 vaccine to inmates

Vaccines will be administered at jails starting this weekend, officials say

FILE - This Thursday, March 18, 2021 file photo shows syringes filled with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at a pop up site in the Queens borough of New York. According to results released on Monday, March 29, 2021, The U.S governments first look at the real-world use of COVID-19 vaccines found their effectiveness was nearly as robust as it was in controlled studies. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer) (Mary Altaffer, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

POLK COUNTY, Fla. – Polk County Jail inmates will soon have the chance to get vaccinated against COVID-19, according to a news release.

Moderna vaccines will be made available to inmates beginning this weekend through a partnership between the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Department of Health in Polk County, and Corizon Health, the health care provider in Polk County’s jails, according to the release from the sheriff’s office.

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“COVID-19 vaccinations are now readily available to the general public in Polk County. We believe now is the appropriate time to offer inmates the vaccine. We are thankful for the partnership we have with the Florida Department of Health and Corizon Health to make this happen,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said in the announcement.

Officials said the shots will first be offered Thursday and Friday any Polk County Sheriff’s Office members working in the facilities who have not yet had the vaccine.

Then, based on supply over the weekend and moving forward, first doses of the two-shot Moderna vaccine will be offered to inmates at the Central County Jail in Bartow and the South County Jail in unincorporated Frostproof, according to the release.

Since Moderna’s vaccine requires two shots, second doses will be administered to inmates still in jail at a later date. Inmates who are released after getting their first dose will need to contact the Department of Health to schedule their second shot.

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