Tuscaloosa County Sheriff wants to vaccinate inmates for coronavirus

Updated: Jan. 21, 2021 at 5:26 PM CST
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TUSCALOOSA COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - Tuscaloosa County Sheriff Ron Abernathy wants to start vaccinating inmates in the county jail for coronavirus.

He confirmed his office is having discussions with a local healthcare provider to vaccinate inmates who want more protection from the illness.

“Our next phase we’ll be pushing through now is going to also be trying to get our inmates vaccinated,” Sheriff Abernathy explained.

The push to vaccinate Tuscaloosa County Jail inmates for coronavirus comes after Sheriff Abernathy said some of his deputies and jail detention officers were part of a group of around 150 first responders who were vaccinated during a weekend drive-thru vaccination clinic hosted by DCH Regional Medical Center.

“I’ve got 240 inmates that are willing to get vaccinated which we’ve been trying to push to head in that direction,” Abernathy continued.

Abernathy said the Sheriff’s Department is responsible for the healthcare needs of people being jailed there. As of Tuesday, there were nine inmates in the Tuscaloosa County Jail who were positive for COVID-19. The Sheriff’s Department is working with Maude Whatley Health Services.

“The big issue is about logistics, the distribution on the vaccine getting to us. That’s our problem. But as soon as they are available, we want to do it,” Abernathy went on to say.

Access to the jail is restricted at this time. New inmates to the jail go into a quarantine before being put in general population there. Abernathy added they spend more than a million dollars a year on medical care for inmates in the Tuscaloosa County Jail.

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