LOS ANGELES - The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) has started vaccinating federal inmates at more than thirty federal facilities across the country, including several in the Los Angeles area that suffered COVID-19 outbreaks during the pandemic.
The BOP confirmed to FOX 11 that as of December 30th, inmates and staff members have been receiving vaccines, with the primary focus being on vaccinating frontline staff members. The locations getting the vaccines include the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in downtown Los Angeles, the Terminal Island federal prison in San Pedro, and the federal prison in Victorville.
The MDC has had over two hundred positive cases of COVID-19. Terminal Island has had seven inmates die to the disease, and Victorville has also had an outbreak with at least one death.
"The Bureau of Prisons (BOP) is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and a public-private partnership established by the federal government, known as Operation Warp Speed (OWS), to ensure the BOP remains prepared to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as it becomes available," said Justin Long, a spokesman for the BOP.
As of Wednesday, December 30, 2020, the vaccine has been delivered to 31 of the BOP's facilities in different regions of the country.
These include the following locations:
- Metropolitan Detention Center Los Angeles
- Federal Correctional Complex Butner
- Federal Medical Center Carswell
- Federal Medical Center Fort Worth
- Federal Correctional Institution Seagoville
- Federal Correctional Complex Coleman
- Federal Medical Center Rochester
- Federal Medical Center Devens
- Federal Correctional Complex Allenwood
- Federal Medical Center Lexington
- Medical Center for Federal Prisoners Springfield
- Federal Correctional Institution Greenville
- Federal Correctional Institution Pekin
- Metropolitan Correctional Center San Diego
- United States Penitentiary Marion
- Federal Correctional Complex Lompoc
- Federal Correctional Institution Terminal Island
- Federal Correctional Complex Terre Haute
- Federal Correctional Complex Victorville
Long told FOX 11 that Operation Warp Speed determined that law enforcement and healthcare workers are eligible for the first round of the vaccine, including corrections officers.
"The BOP's plan is to initially offer the vaccine to full-time staff given that staff - who come and go between the facility and the community - present a higher potential vector for transmission," Long said. "Vaccinating staff protects staff members, inmates at the facility and the community. "
Currently, roughly half of the BOP's staff at each of the locations above have been vaccinated. A plan has been developed to offer the vaccine to the inmate population when additional doses are available.
However, the BOP does not determine when doses will be made available to inmates; OWS will do that.
Remaining doses at the locations above were - and will be - provided to inmates based on the priority of need in accordance with the CDC guidelines, and inmates will continue to receive the vaccine as provided by OWS.