Only 8% of Tihar’s inmates vaccinated

Vaccine shortage has hit prison immunisation drive

Published - June 20, 2021 10:20 pm IST - New Delhi

A view of the Tihar jail in New Delhi. File

A view of the Tihar jail in New Delhi. File

Only around 8% of the inmates at Tihar jail, considered the largest prison in Asia, have been vaccinated against COVID so far.

A senior officer said the vaccination drive among inmates has suffered due to scarcity of vaccines. Since the vaccination was started, the jail staff has worked to convince all inmates to get vaccinated.

Prison officials said that 1,615 persons over the age of 45 have been completely vaccinated so far in the three prison complexes, including Tihar, Rohini and Mandoli. Out of around 20,000 inmates in Delhi jails, only 3,738 have received vaccination that includes completely vaccinated and the inmates who received only the first dose.

On May 18, vaccination of the age group 18 to 45 was started at Tihar prison complex and till Saturday total 1,991 inmates received the first dose.

The officer added that dedicated staff have been deployed to assist and complete required paperwork of inmates for vaccination. The staff is coordinating with family members of inmates to get a copy of their Aadhar cards to complete the registration. Many inmates have voluntarily come forward for vaccination and also helped to convince their fellow inmates.

Sandeep Goel, Director General (Delhi Prisons) said they are in constant touch with the concerned authorities over vaccination of inmates.

“The vaccination drive is in full swing as per the protocol. Medical teams keep visiting jails. We are in the process of making the process more smooth and fast,” said Mr Goel.

A senior officer said there are around 20,000 inmates in Delhi’s prisons which have a capacity of a little over 10,000. However, the jail administration said they are making all efforts to keep the inmates safe and following COVID protocols.

“It is tough to maintain hygiene and COVID protocols in congested space. But they keep sanitizing wards regularly and senior citizens have been kept in separate wards for safety,” said the officer.

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