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Prisons: Coronavirus

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN HL440, tabled on 20 May 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many (1) prison staff, and (2) prisoners, have received their (a) first, and (b) second, COVID-19 vaccinations; and what progress they have made in restoring family visits to prisoners.

Answered on

3 June 2021

The total number of staff in Public Sector and Youth Custody Prisons who have declared that they have received their first COVID-19 vaccination, as at midday 21 May 2021, was 10,612. The total number of staff in Public Sector and Youth Custody Prisons who have declared that they have received their second COVID-19 vaccination, as at midday 21 May 2021, was 2,508.

For prisoners in England as at the end of 14 May 2021, the total number who had received their first COVID-19 vaccination was 25,655. The total number of prisoners of all ages who had received their second COVID-19 vaccination was 8,485.

Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service strongly encourages all staff and prisoners who are offered the Covid-19 vaccine, to take it. We ask employees to let us know when they have had each dose of the Covid-19 vaccine by recording their vaccine status on our HR system. As the disclosure of their vaccine status is entirely voluntary, it means the self-declaration rates presented below will be lower than the actual number of staff who have been vaccinated. However, the data collected to date is still valuable in understanding staff vaccination take up and coverage.

We are acutely aware of the impact of the restrictions on family visits, and we have had to make some difficult decisions to protect both prisoners and staff. As of 20 May, 107 establishments have commenced delivery of Stage 3 of the National Framework for Prisons which allows for the delivery of social visits with social distancing and face coverings. We are also working with Public Health England and Public Health Wales to look at how we can take safe and incremental steps to improve the experience of such visits. As part of this work we are piloting lateral flow testing for visitors.