Jail inmates receive COVID-19 vaccine.

May 5, 2021

– Contributed photo
Inmate Nicholas Erickson receives the COVID-19 vaccine from Public Health Medical Technician Lizette Trejo.

Jail inmates receive COVID-19 vaccine.

HART — Eleven of the 47 inmates lodged in the Oceana County Jail were vaccinated for COVID-19 Wednesday, May 5.  

“District Health Department #10 staff have been working closely with the jail administrator through the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Oceana County Undersheriff Ryan Schiller. Staff from DHD#10 came into the jail and gave the vaccinations.  

Johnson & Johnson vaccinations were offered to every inmate that is currently incarcerated. “We were very pleased that 11 of them chose to get the vaccine today,” said Schiller.

– Contributed photo
Inmate Robert Mallard receives the vaccine from Public Health Nurse Claire Jansen.

“The sickest people in any community, other than those in the hospital, are in your county jails. They are the people with the most cases of chronic disease; the people with the most mental illness; and the people with the most drug abuse.* This is why offering the vaccination to our inmate population is important. No matter what our opinion is about vaccinations, they should have the right to make their own choice.

“We already had a great working relationship with DHD #10 prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are very thankful for them. DHD #10 staff have been coming into the jail giving flu shots, hepatitis-A vaccines and tuberous sclerosis testing. They have been instrumental in helping us navigate COVID-19. We are a COVID-19 testing facility, and actually had to apply to get a license. We are utilizing rapid testing for COVID-19 for inmates and staff,” said the undersheriff.

“Our corrections officers are ‘essential workers’ — what happens to them, happens to our inmates and vise versa. We are all on board the same cruise ship, just without the amenities.

– Contributed photo

“We have been quarantining inmates since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. This has created space issues in our small facility. Staff has worked tirelessly to make things work, moving people when necessary and taking all of the precautions to keep our inmate population and staff healthy.

“As of today, we are thankful that we have not had any cases of COVID-19 in our facility. We know that is not the case everywhere, even when precautions were being taken. Dr. Wagner, D.O., our jail physician has been an invaluable resource and help as we have gone through the last year with the ever-changing protocols. We are grateful for all of our healthcare partners.”

*Refer to Sheriff & Deputy;Vol 72, Issue 6

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