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Prisons: Coronavirus

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN HL1874, tabled on 12 July 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what advice they have received about the level of vaccination required for (1) prisoners, and (2) prison officers, in order to prevent future outbreaks of COVID-19 in prisons.

Answered on

27 July 2021

This answer is a correction from the original answer.

Public Health England advice is that we should aim for the highest possible level of vaccination coverage, and higher coverage will help limit outbreaks. Even with a fully vaccinated population, however, smaller outbreaks could occur, because the vaccine does not offer complete protection. The risk of outbreaks is also influenced by other factors including the local demographics, previous exposure, and community prevalence.

HMPPS strongly encourages all staff and prisoners to have the COVID-19 vaccine. 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 will be lower than the actual number of staff who have been vaccinated.

Original answer

Public Health England advice is that we should aim for the highest possible level of vaccination coverage, and higher coverage will help limit outbreaks. Even with a fully vaccinated population, however, smaller outbreaks could occur, because the vaccine does not offer complete protection. The risk of outbreaks is also influenced by other factors including the local demographics, previous exposure, and community prevalence.

HMPPS strongly encourages all staff and prisoners to have the COVID-19 vaccine. 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.