According to the Colorado COVID-19 Vaccination Data dashboard, only 37.5 percent of the eligible population in Fremont County has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. But the Fremont County Department of Public Health and Environment (FCDPHE) and the local Board of Health disagree vehemently with these numbers and say they are working tirelessly to advocate the state to have them corrected.
Offenders in the six Department of Corrections and four Federal Bureau of Prisons facilities are counted in the county’s base population. However, inmate vaccine data is not being reported in Fremont County’s vaccination rates.
Approximately 7,400 offenders currently are housed in Fremont County correctional facilities. But according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), offenders have been required to report their home address when vaccinated instead of the local facility address where they are currently residing. This means offenders living in Fremont County correctional facilities who are vaccinated are not counted in Fremont County’s vaccination rate.
As of June 9, the Federal Correctional Complex in Florence reported that 62 percent of offenders, 1,444 individuals, have received at least one dose of vaccine. Unfortunately, even though requested repeatedly, vaccine data for offenders in the Colorado Department of Corrections facilities in Fremont County has not been provided to FCDPHE.
Fremont County officials have repeatedly asked the state to correct these inaccuracies by including the vaccinated offenders who reside in Fremont County in our vaccination rate, or by taking the offender population out of our base of the eligible population.
“Fremont County consistently hovers at the lowest levels of vaccination rates,” said Kayla Marler, FCDPHE Director. “Those numbers are wrong. They are not scientific. They must be corrected, but we continue to hit a wall when we ask for resolution. This shouldn’t be that difficult.”
“Our residents need to know we are doing much, much better than the state’s numbers indicate,” Marler said. “Our citizens have done an excellent job with the vaccination, and we thank you all for your diligent efforts.”
62 percent of prisoners only having received one shot of the vaccine at this point doesn’t really seem like something to be proud of. Hopefully, the corrections officers are fully vaccinated and not at risk of catching the Covid.
In addition to the duty of the state to provide care for prisoners, it’s also a simple fact that a vaccinated prisoner is cheaper to care for than a sick prisoner, and I can’t think of many important things that have simpler logistics than giving vaccines to prisoners.
Talk about a captive audience, and yet they’re still only at 62 percent when there is a surplus supply of vaccine available? It seems not great, but I’ve never been to prison, so take my opinion with a grain of salt, diet allowing.
Jeff, Prisoners can still refuse to get vaccinated, just as prison guards, can — and are — refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
That’s fine. Prisoner, corrections officer, whatever – if you’re still refusing to get the vaccine at this point, you deserve whatever happens to you.
I would not believe anything that Fremont county says.