BLUFFDALE, Utah — Dozens of Utah State Prison inmates received a free COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday from a group called Nomi Health, and organization dedicated to helping those who can’t afford healthcare.
This effort by the Nomi team is to vaccinate as many Utahns as possible, including those who are behind bars, a population many people tend to forget about, unless, of course, for those residents who have a friend or loved one locked up.
Those individuals not only want to safely visit with their loved ones while behind bars, but the inmates will one day be back out on our streets. So inmates who consent, and following strict prison guidelines, receive the Johnson and Johnson vaccine
“We try to make rounds every couple weeks and help with their intake population as they come in," said Carolina Herrin, Director of Operations with NOMI Health. "We’ve vaccinated quite a bit of the current prison population, we’ve also vaccinated a lot of the county jail population, so we’re just trying to make sure that everyone has access and this is a great way for us to be able to help the entire state get vaccinated.”
The risk of COVID spreading unchecked among unvaccinated prisoners is quite high, and there’s already been outbreaks at jails and prisons in Utah and around the country.
So far, Nomi Health has vaccinated nearly 1,000 incarcerated people in Utah.
Herrin says they will continue doing the work for as long as it’s necessary.