According to data acquired by PTI, of all 16 central jails enclosed in Tihar, Rohini and Mandoli complexes of the Delhi Prisons department, 28,902 Covid vaccine doses have been administered to inmates.
The data presented that a total of 19,120 first doses of Covid vaccines, 9,179 second doses and 603 precautionary doses have been administered to inmates till 1 July.
The session for the third dose of the Covid-19 vaccines for inmates started on 1 February, and as of 1 July, a meagre 603 doses were provided so far.
A senior jail official stated that the exact number of inmates eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine precautionary dose is not accessible as many inmates keep moving in and out of prisons on bail, parole or on culmination of their sentences.
The jail authorities pointed out that 19,504 inmates are presently lodged at the central jails that come under Delhi Prisons despite the total official uptake being 10,026.
Sandeep Goel, Director General of Delhi Prisons, said that the precautionary dose of Covid-19 vaccines were readily available at all central jails; however, only 603 inmates chose to get it.
Goel believes that one of the reasons for the low coverage is that initially, the third dose was meant only for those aged 60 and above.
He added that most of the inmates were not eligible for the third dose due to the nine months’ mandatory gap as per the previous government guidelines. Now that it has been reduced to six months, eligible inmates will be vaccinated.
Those reluctant to take the third dose were being encouraged and made aware about its benefits.
The senior jail official said, “Our jail superintendents, senior medical officers, medical staff and jail staff are creating awareness among the inmates to take precautionary doses by explaining to them about its benefit in fighting the virus.”
A total of 20 inmates and seven staff members have been affected by Covid in the last four months.
(With inputs from PTI)
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