More prison inmates vaccinated than corrections employees in Minnesota

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FILE – In this Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020, file photo, a patient receives an influenza vaccine in Mesquite, Texas. Amid all the focus on COVID-19 vaccinations, U.S. health experts have another plea: Don’t skip your flu shot. With U.S. schools and businesses reopened, international travel resuming and far less masking this fall, flu is likely to make a comeback. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Corrections has been more successful getting inmates immunized against the coronavirus than it has for its own employees.

As of this week, about 80% of prisoners in Minnesota have been fully vaccinated, while the immunization rate for corrections employees is just over 65% and at some prisons, it’s lower. Fewer than 60 percent of staff at Moose Lake and St. Cloud have gotten the shot.

A new mandate took effect this month which requires all Minnesota state employees working in the office or on site to either be vaccinated or submit to weekly testing for COVID-19. Corrections officials say about 1,400 unvaccinated staff members are being tested on a weekly basis.

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