Jailers face particular hurdle when providing vaccine to inmates

There is a lot of national attention right now about COVID-19 vaccinations in jails and prisons.

Posted: Mar 31, 2021 10:24 AM

TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - There is a lot of national attention right now about COVID-19 vaccinations in jails and prisons.

Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson said his inmates may or may not get the vaccine depending on whether they are a state or a local inmate.

"The problem we have is that we are not a long-term care facility, which means most of our inmates are in and out within four or five days."

He said that presents a problem in providing the vaccine for his inmates.

“So the problem you have with trying to get all of the inmates the vaccine, it would be that 20 or 21-day break that you have from the first to the second shot."

He has discussed this with members of the state health department. State inmates housed in Lee County currently stand a better chance of receiving the vaccine.

"We do know that the Mississippi Department of Corrections is working on some type of plan to vaccinate the state inmates which are here for a longer period of time, which will be the state's responsibility."

The sheriff’s office will work with the state to get that done.

The jail has a medical staff around the clock who monitor the situation. If an inmate tests positive for the virus and is a misdemeanor criminal, the sheriff tries to get the inmate removed from the jail.

The jail currently has limited options to provide isolation for quarantine. Long-term inmates are isolated anyway.

"We treat fever and cough and sinus every day here,” the sheriff added. “The COVID is not any different treatment. It's just that the contagious part of it, passing it from one person to the next, is a problem. But it is a jail and we just do the best that we can."

The Lee County jail currently houses 210 inmates. Those numbers are about to drastically drop because of changes at the jail due to a lack of employees, he said.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 308737

Reported Deaths: 7139
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto20931250
Hinds19961410
Harrison17562303
Rankin13369277
Jackson13156243
Madison9950212
Lee9890170
Jones8310161
Forrest7542148
Lauderdale7221237
Lowndes6289144
Lamar613384
Lafayette6072117
Washington5291133
Bolivar4776129
Oktibbeha457197
Panola4458103
Pearl River4437141
Warren4299119
Marshall4286102
Pontotoc417572
Monroe4062132
Union404675
Neshoba4005176
Lincoln3886109
Hancock373385
Leflore3471124
Sunflower331589
Tate325384
Pike3215105
Scott311472
Yazoo305069
Alcorn299465
Itawamba297877
Copiah293965
Coahoma290479
Simpson289586
Tippah285168
Prentiss276659
Marion266279
Leake261773
Wayne261541
Grenada256484
Covington255280
Adams246982
Newton245761
George238547
Winston226081
Tishomingo222567
Jasper220048
Attala213673
Chickasaw205457
Holmes187172
Clay183254
Stone179733
Clarke177776
Tallahatchie176140
Calhoun165431
Yalobusha160136
Smith159334
Walthall131043
Greene129633
Lawrence126623
Noxubee126534
Montgomery125742
Perry125238
Carroll120926
Amite120741
Webster113832
Jefferson Davis105532
Tunica103225
Claiborne101330
Benton97525
Kemper95628
Humphreys94632
Franklin82923
Quitman78916
Choctaw73917
Wilkinson65128
Jefferson64828
Sharkey49817
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 521623

Reported Deaths: 10739
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson754061493
Mobile39067799
Madison34040496
Tuscaloosa25367444
Montgomery24019567
Shelby23186239
Baldwin20701302
Lee15589165
Calhoun14342311
Morgan14158271
Etowah13685346
Marshall11995220
Houston10404278
Elmore10011200
Limestone9852147
Cullman9503189
St. Clair9463234
Lauderdale9265228
DeKalb8757181
Talladega8115171
Walker7139275
Jackson6756110
Autauga6750103
Blount6519134
Colbert6229130
Coffee5424113
Dale4772111
Russell430038
Franklin420782
Chilton4101109
Covington4061114
Tallapoosa3907146
Escambia390174
Dallas3525149
Chambers3514122
Clarke347060
Marion3072100
Pike306176
Lawrence295995
Winston273172
Bibb256059
Marengo248361
Geneva246075
Pickens233259
Barbour226455
Hale218575
Butler212967
Fayette209460
Henry188044
Cherokee182644
Randolph177241
Monroe172540
Washington165238
Macon155648
Clay150155
Crenshaw149457
Cleburne146741
Lamar139734
Lowndes136553
Wilcox124427
Bullock121640
Conecuh109428
Perry107626
Sumter103232
Coosa99428
Greene91434
Choctaw58824
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