COVID-19 vaccination in correctional systems in the United States


Overcrowding and limited ability to social distance contribute to high rates of COVID-19 outbreaks in correctional facilities. Despite CDC recommendations, incarcerated persons and correctional staff report a high prevalence of vaccine-hesitance. We sought to identify reasons underlying COVID-19 vaccine hesitation and refusal in correctional systems. We searched PubMed abstracts and reviewed literature relevant to COVID-19 vaccine uptake and hesitancy in correctional systems of the United States (n = 23). Reasons for vaccine hesitancy among incarcerated people and correctional staff include efficacy, safety concerns, lack of information, and distrust. Findings reveal higher vaccine hesitancy among young and Black residents whereas facilities in close collaborations with state health departments exhibited higher vaccination rates. Correctional facilities must prioritize communication and education to improve the current state of vaccine hesitancy.

Publication Year: 2023

Lead Author: Paige Martin

Journal: Journal of Public Health Policy