Correctional Service Canada (CSC) has announced that it will begin vaccinating federal prisoners against the COVID-19 virus. The CSC expects to begin vaccinating older and medically compromised federal inmates on Friday, January 8, under the recommendation of the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI).
In compliance with NACI recommendations, the CSC will administer the vaccine to all federal inmates when the vaccine becomes more widely available. According to the CSC’s estimate, the first phase of administration will distribute the vaccine to 600 inmates.
The CSC will administer the Moderna vaccine, approved by Health Canada, pursuant to the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, which obligates the CSC to provide necessary health care to federal inmates.
In a statement Wednesday CSC Commissioner Anne Kelly said:
The health and safety of our employees, inmates, and the public is a top priority for the Correctional Service of Canada. This is very welcome news, as we know vaccines are a critical way to limit the spread of COVID-19. We will continue working with our public health partners, unions and stakeholders to roll out measures that help protect everyone during this public health pandemic.
CSC employees will not be vaccinated by the federal government, but by the province or territory in which they reside, according to the NACI guidelines establishing categories of high-risk individuals. Among those CSC individuals to be prioritized are those who work directly with inmates who are diagnosed with COVID-19.