South Africa vaccinates more than 68,500 inmates against COVID-19

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Prisoners walk in a corridor at the Pollsmoor Prison in Cape Town, near painted murals of parrots, on March 18, 2011. The self-financed "Correctional Bird Project" which aims to reform criminals allows for inmates to take care of chicks and young birds before they are sold as tame pets to bird lovers. The program fields constant requests from prisoners wanting to join and places are limited to around a dozen prisoners who undergo training and must adhere to a ban on gangsterism, smoking, swearing, and drugs. In return, the inmates are given privileges like single cells. AFP PHOTO / STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN (Photo credit should read STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN/AFP via Getty Images)

South Africa’s Department of Correctional Services (DCS) has announced that 68,593 inmates have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

DCS also announced that it is on course towards vaccinating the entire inmate population by mid August.

“This dynamic vaccination drive demonstrates that DCS is on a positive direction towards reaching herd immunity within correctional facilities,” DCS said in a statement.

According to the DCS, the daily vaccination target remains at 8,391. Correctional officials have also not been left behind, a total of 12,328 officials have been inoculated.

The current standard operating procedures in the correctional services have enforced a necessary barrier in the form of a protection wall between the general inmate population and the newly admitted persons who are to be placed in the isolation sites until cleared.

Vaccination is not mandatory but inmates and officials have been encouraged to get vaccinated.

currently, COVID-19 positive cases within the correctional services stand at 15,052 (9,342 officials and 5,710 inmates).

A total of 13,882 recoveries have been recorded.

Unfortunately, a total of 221 officials and 90 inmates have succumbed to COVID-19 complications.

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