January 15th, 2021

Prison guards need priority COVID-19 vaccinations, union says


By The Canadian Press on January 6, 2021.

Patches are seen on the arm and shoulder of a corrections officer in the segregation unit at the Fraser Valley Institution for Women during a media tour, in Abbotsford, B.C., on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

OTTAWA – A union representing federal prison guards says vaccinating them against COVID-19 should be a priority, given their front-line role in correctional institutions.

Jeff Wilkins, national president of the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers, says members should be inoculated at their workplaces as quickly as possible.

The call comes as the union hears of plans by the Correctional Service to begin vaccinating inmates Friday.

It says the prison service has sent some 1,200 doses to various institutions and plans to vaccinate elderly inmates first.

The Correctional Service had no immediate comment today.

Wilkins says about 225 of the union’s more than 7,400 members have tested positive for COVID-19.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 6, 2021.

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