- Associated Press - Friday, January 8, 2021

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware officials are offering incentives to encourage inmates to get a COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available.

The offers include five days of good time credits, a free video visit and snack bag or special meal, The Delaware State News reported Thursday. Prisoners who are vaccinated will also be scheduled first for in-person visitations when they resume.

Department of Correction spokesman Jason Miller said 200 vaccine doses developed by Moderna Inc. were administered to correctional healthcare workers and some correctional officers this week. The department encourages vaccinations, but staff or inmates aren’t required to get the shots.

Inmates are in the third part of the state’s Phase 1 grouping for priority vaccinations. Those vaccines could arrive at prisons by mid March, according to the Delaware Division of Public Health, but a target date has not been finalized.

“The timeframe to complete COVID vaccinations will be determined by how quickly vaccine doses are released to the DOC,” said Miller.

Inmates who are 60 and older and have medical conditions will be prioritized.

Delaware’s prisons have seen more 1,580 prisoners infected with the virus and 12 die.

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