Virginia is working to keep all of its residents safe.
The Virginia Department of Corrections (DOC) has vaccinated more than 50% of its inmates, according to a news release from the department.
The average daily inmate population as of January was 23,811, and the department reported that more than 13,000 inmates and 6,000 staff members have received their first of two Moderna shots.
Receiving the vaccine is not mandatory.
The DOC medical staff worked with the Virginia Department of Health to implement CDC guidelines and have also started an education campaign to inform inmates about the vaccine.
“Vaccinating DOC staff and inmates makes the whole community safer,” said Virginia Department of Corrections Director Harold Clarke. “Not only are our staff going into the community each day, but sometimes people forget that if an inmate gets very sick with COVID and has to be hospitalized, that inmate is occupying a community hospital bed. Inmates are a part of their local communities.”