Nearly 45 percent of inmates housed in a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation prison, which includes the California Institution for Men and the California Institution for Women in Chino, have received their first COVID-19 vaccine doses, state officials announced earlier this month.

A total of 42,397 inmates and 25,885 staff members at state prisons have received at least one shot, and doses are being prioritized that meets California Department of Public Health guidelines, prison officials announced.

“It is our intent to offer COVID-19 vaccinations to all employees and incarcerated individuals,” a statement read. Vaccinations started Dec. 20 at the state’s California Health Care Facility in Stockton with frontline staff members and patients in the long-term skilled nursing beds receiving the first shots.

Since then, vaccinations have been available to inmates age 65 and over and anyone with a high risk of complications should they contract the virus, officials said.

Additional inmates and staff members not meeting the first criteria to receive a shot will be a priority when the state reaches the Phase 1C tier.

A breakdown of the number of inmates and staff members who have receive a vaccine shot at the two Chino prisons is not known.

State numbers show 1,499 inmates at the California Institution for Men and 487 inmates at the California Institution for Women have contracted COVID-19 since the pandemic began in March 2020. Twenty-seven inmates at the men’s prison and one inmate at the women’s prison died from complications of the virus.

In the last 14 days, no inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 at either prison.  Numbers also show 92 percent, or 1,806 inmates, at the men’s prison and 82 percent, or 840 inmates, at the women’s prison have been tested in the past two weeks.

Four CIM staff members and three CIW staff members have received positive COVID-19 tests in the past two weeks, according to state numbers.

Two staff members at each prison died from complications of the virus within the past two months.

The CIW staff members died on Jan. 26 and Feb. 20. Two CIM staff members died on Jan. 17, according to the state. Statewide, 26 staff members and 212 inmates have died from complications of COVID-19. 

“No further information is being provided to protect medical privacy,” the statement read.

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