Inmates at William Head prison near Victoria receive COVID-19 vaccines
The vaccinations at William Head Institution in Metchosin were part of the first phase of vaccines that are being administered to 600 inmates across Canada. (CTV News)
VICTORIA -- Some inmates at a Victoria-area prison have now been vaccinated against COVID-19.
The vaccinations at William Head Institution in Metchosin were part of the first phase of vaccines that are being administered to 600 inmates across Canada. The first phase is expected to be complete in the coming days.
The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) would not say how many inmates at William Head have been vaccinated to date or whether any staff have also been vaccinated, but said inmates were being prioritized by age and underlying health conditions.
“Clinics were organized by medical staff in order to ensure the oldest inmates were able to access the vaccine,” CSC spokesperson Kyle Lawlor told CTV News on Monday.
“In some cases, and when safe to do so, if an institution has one or a small number of older inmates who are considered a priority, these individuals will be vaccinated at a nearby institution,” Lawlor added.
William Head is a small, minimum-security facility with a capacity of approximately 158 inmates, according to the CSC.
On Jan. 8, the federal corrections agency began operating COVID-19 vaccine clinics at five regional facilities across the country. The five facilities included Pacific Institution in Abbotsford, the only B.C. institution on the list.
Planning for additional inmate vaccination centres is underway.
As of Monday, more than 555,000 Canadians have received vaccinations, accounting for 1.55 per cent of the population. Meanwhile, approximately 76,000 British Columbians, or 1.48 per cent of the population, had been vaccinated by Friday afternoon, when the latest data was available.
The federal government has said that anyone who wants a vaccine will be able to get one by the end of 2021.