Canadian prisoners expected to start being vaccinated this week: Report

prison

Federal prisoners in Canada will start being vaccinated against COVID-19 starting this week.

Our media partner CTV News has confirmed with the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers that the pilot project will begin Friday.

Around 1,200 doses will be delivered across the country, and in total 600 inmates will be vaccinated. At this time it's not clear which institutions will be receiving the vaccines.

Sick and elderly prisoners will be prioritized, but prison officers and employees are not a part of the program.

Justin Piché is an associate professor in the criminology department at the University of Ottawa, and spoke to CTV News Ottawa.

“Even when they’re in lockdown, their cells are right beside each other,” he says. “So, if someone gets COVID-19 and coughs, and that gets in the air, it doesn’t have to travel very far for someone to get infected.”

There have been a number of prison outbreaks across the country, including in Kingston where an ongoing outbreak has led to 150 inmates at Joyceville Institution being infected.

During the second phase of Ontario's vaccination program, officers and prison employees will begin getting vaccinated.