Lamola: Inmates excited to be part of COVID-19 vaccine programme

Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola said the vaccination of prison officials and inmates had been prioritised to ensure their safety and that of the general public.

FILE: Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola addresses the media in Pretoria during a virtual Cabinet briefing on 6 August 2020. Picture: @GovernmentZA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola said the vaccination of prison officials and inmates had been prioritised to ensure their safety and that of the general public.

Lamola was speaking at the Johannesburg Prison on Tuesday.

There are 140,000 inmates across the country who need to be vaccinated by the cutoff date of 10 August.

Minister Ronald Lamola explained why it was important to vaccinate officials and prisoners.

“Correctional centres are high-risk environments for infectious disease and outbreaks. Correctional centers are generally overcrowded,” the minister said.

He said that inmates were responding well to their call to vaccinate.

“What we've seen, the inmates are very excited to be participating in this programme. They're very jovial,” Lamola said.

On Tuesday alone, the department vaccinated more than 2,000 inmates at various correctional facilities across the country, with Lamola saying that they were hoping to see more than 1,000 jabs a day.

Inmates only account for 0.84% of the country's population.

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