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Inmates offered free flu vaccines

Thursday, October 08, 2020

LEXINGTON, Okla. – There is a war being waged at Lexington Correctional Center. And the Oklahoma Department of Corrections is on the front lines of flu season. 

“Give them every opportunity, any kind of preventative care to keep them safe,” Correctional Health Services Administrator Tiffany Powell said. 

Thousands of vaccines just arrived – allowing DOC to take a proactive approach. Chronic care and older inmates will receive the immunizations first. 

“I live with an 83 year old man, so I take the shot for him,” one inmate said. “If it got here really bad and some of them would get infected, it would be hasta la vista.” 

With the challenges the coronavirus presents, it is even more important for inmates to be vaccinated. 

“We encourage the flu shot so they can build up immunities,” Powell said. “It’s about to hit our area on top of Covid which has very similar symptoms.” 

ODOC offers vaccines every flu season, but this year the agency ramped up the order, hoping to encourage more inmates to participate. 

“I’m over 50 so I want to take every precaution,” one inmate said. “It’s better to be on the side of caution.” 

There is never a charge for the immunization and they are voluntary. But ODOC hopes to vaccinate several thousand inmates at all facilities in the next few weeks. 

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