05 Jul 2022

Prison Services reveal Covid-19 vaccine rates in Portlaoise and other jails

Prisoners have high uptake of Covid-19 vaccines


Nearly nine in ten prisoners locked up in jails in Portlaoise and other parts of Ireland have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, latest figures have revealed.

Some 89% of the current 3,830 inmates in 12 prisons in the state have been inoculated for the killer virus, according to the Irish Prison Service. 

The uptake rate is broadly in line with the general community - which is running at around 92% of people over 18 -- but is seen to be higher than levels among the prisoner population in other countries such as the UK and US.

The vaccines were administered between April and August by the National Ambulance Service, supported by Irish Prison Service medical teams. 

In line with the general community, the vaccination programme began with the most vulnerable cohort so prisoners aged over 70 received their jabs in April. 

An Irish Prison Service spokesperson said: "A vaccination programme for the remaining prisoner cohort was rolled out on a prison by prison basis which began on 9th June 2021 and concluded 20th August 2021. 

"As of the 02nd November, 89% of the prisoner population is fully vaccinated."

Vaccinations are continuing across prisons to accommodate recently sentenced prisoners if they are unvaccinated.

Meanwhile, a total of nearly 200 or around 5% of all prisoners contracted COVID-19 since March 2020. 

The Irish Prison Service spokesperson added: "The total number of prisoners that have tested positive for COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic is 196."

The 196 number is made up of 94 case due to prison-based transmission and 102 infections traced back to community transmission.

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