Update: Correctional Service Canada COVID:19 Vaccine Roll-Out: Phase Two
The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) will soon begin rolling out its COVID-19 vaccination plans for the second phase of the vaccine rollout, in accordance with National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) guidelines.
Under the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, CSC has a legal obligation to provide essential health care to federally incarcerated inmates, including vaccine administration. As per the NACI guidelines, residents and staff of congregate living settings, such as correctional institutions, are included as priorities in phase two, as they are in higher-risk environments.
In January 2021, during phase one of the vaccine rollout, CSC vaccinated approximately 600 older, medically vulnerable inmates. Beginning on April 15, CSC will offer the COVID-19 vaccine to the remaining federal inmate population in 43 correctional institutions and 14 Community Correctional Centres (CCCs) across Canada. To complement existing provincial and territorial vaccination programs and assist with overall vaccination efforts, CSC will be offering the vaccine to institutional and CCC employees who have not already had the opportunity to be vaccinated by their province.
Our employees are essential to keeping our institutions safe and secure, and work closely with inmates to provide supports, health care and programs. Many CSC employees working in our institutions have already received their first dose of the vaccine from their province or territory. CSC’s approach allows employees, who are not yet vaccinated by then, to receive the vaccine in their workplace at the same time as the offender population. Employees are encouraged to take the first vaccine that is offered to them. Together, these efforts will help increase the overall level of protection for those living and working in congregate living settings.
Both offenders and employees must consent to receiving the vaccine. CSC continues to raise awareness about vaccine safety and the importance of being vaccinated. Health and safety measures, such as masks, physical distancing, active screening, and other personal protective equipment will continue to apply after vaccines are administered. This will ensure that layers of protection continue to be in place in our correctional institutions.
The health and safety of our inmates, employees, and the public have been our top priority during this pandemic. The vaccine is the best defence to protect both offenders and staff against COVID-19 and, when paired with existing measures, will help to bolster our overall public health and safety. CSC will continue to work closely with the provinces and territories on its vaccinations plans and rollout.
- CSC has 14 Community Correctional Centres:
- Atlantic Region: Parrtown, Jamieson and St. John’s
- Quebec Region: Ogilvy, Sherbrooke, Hochelaga, Martineau, Marcel-Caron and Laferrière
- Ontario Region: Keele, Henry Traill
- Prairie Region: Osborne and Oskana
- Pacific Region: Chilliwack
- CSC provides its own health care to inmates and has dedicated health care professionals in its institutions, including nurses and physicians, who closely monitor the health of inmates. CSC relies on local hospitals where care exceeds CSC’s capacity.
- Since the beginning of the pandemic, CSC has implemented rigorous infection prevention and control measures at its sites, such as increasing sanitation and enforcing wearing masks, frequent hand washing/sanitizing, active screening, and physical distancing.
- CSC’s COVID-19 approach continues to benefit from the expertise and advice of our public health partners, and is based on science and evidence.
- CSC established an integrated risk management process where, on an ongoing basis, decisions about its operations are made in close collaboration with public health authorities, unions, Elders, and stakeholders to prevent and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
- Correctional Service Canada COVID-19 Vaccine Roll-out: A January 7, 2021, news release about the vaccine roll-out at CSC.
- Preliminary guidance on key populations for early COVID-19 immunization: Recommendations, vaccines, methods and considerations on key populations for early COVID-19 immunization.
- Planning guidance for administration of COVID-19 vaccine: The COVID-19 planning guidance maps out how Canada will provide Canadians with safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines.
- Inmate COVID-19 testing in CSC institutions: CSC provides daily updates Monday through Friday on inmate COVID-19 tests and positive and active cases.
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