Prisons are covid hot spots. But few countries are prioritizing vaccines for inmates.
The situation in Israel, while stark, mirrors a tendency around the world. Prisoners, given the challenges to social distancing and compounding health disparities, are especially at risk of contracting and transmitting the coronavirus. But many countries have not prioritized their inoculation or have stoked controversy in doing so.
In late December, Israeli Public Security Minister Amir Ohana first announced that he would not vaccinate inmates before prison guards. In subsequent statements, Ohana doubled down and added that “security prisoners” — a category that currently includes only Palestinians — would not be vaccinated until after Israel’s general population. Deputy Attorney General Amit Marari pushed back, telling Ohana he did not have the power to override the Health Ministry’s directive and decide who deserved a dose.
The impasse has escalated to Israel’s Supreme Court, after five human rights organizations Sunday filed a petition to challenge Ohana. “Prisoners are an at-risk population and action must be taken to vaccinate them in parallel with the at-risk populations at large,” the petitioners wrote. Israel’s health …continued .
[Source: Washington Post]