Inmates at Metchosin’s William Head Institution are being given COVID-19 vaccines as part of the first phase. Around 600 inmates will be vaccinated in the coming days. (Black Press Media file photo)

Inmates at Metchosin’s William Head Institution are being given COVID-19 vaccines as part of the first phase. Around 600 inmates will be vaccinated in the coming days. (Black Press Media file photo)

William Head prison inmates in receive first doses of COVID vaccine

Priority set for older inmates and those with underlying medical conditions

The COVID-19 vaccine rollout has begun among inmates and staff at William Head Institution.

Correctional Services Canada (CSC) said the Metchosin location is part of its first phase, which aims to give 600 inmates the vaccine in the coming days.

William Head is a minimum security federal institution for men which opened in 1959 and can hold 200 inmates.

The decision on who is vaccinated first is determined by age and underlying medical conditions.

READ MORE: B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

In some cases, if an institution has only one or a small number of older inmates who are priority cases, they will be vaccinated at a nearby institution.

“We have been working closely with the province to identify our health care and frontline workers for prioritization and some health care staff to receive the vaccine soon,” said CSC spokesperson Kyle Lawlor. “This is evolving quickly and we expect more health care staff to receive the vaccine soon.”

As of Tuesday, around 630,000 doses of approved COVID-19 vaccines had been administered across Canada. This figure represents around 1.65 per cent of the entire population.

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