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Oklahoma Prisoners, DOC Staff Waiting On COVID-19 Vaccines

Matthew Ansley / Unsplash

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections has early indications that hundreds of its staff and thousands of prisoners are interested in being vaccinated.

At least 52 members of the agency’s medical staff have taken their first shot of COVID-19 vaccine.

Department of Corrections Director Scott Crow said at a board meeting this week he doesn’t know how many employees may have gotten vaccinated on their own time.

Crow said the agency is working closely with the Oklahoma State Health Department to provide more doses to staff and prisoners. But the director isn’t sure how much of the vaccine the health department will deliver.

Justin Wolf, a Department of Corrections spokesperson, said the agency cannot force prisoners to take the vaccine and it is not mandating vaccinations for staff.

Initial survey numbers suggest nearly 800 staff members and about 11,000 prisoners are interested in taking the vaccine.

Over 4,000 people work for the agency full time and there are more than 21,000 people incarcerated across the state corrections system.


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Quinton Chandler worked at StateImpact Oklahoma from January 2018 to August 2021, focusing on criminal justice reporting.
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