Lehigh and Northampton counties will vaccinate county jail inmates

Written by on May 5, 2021

 Lehigh and Northampton counties will vaccinate county jail inmates

By Tyler Pratt

May 5, 2021

Photo by Craig Lloyd from Pexels

Lehigh and Northampton Counties will vaccinate county jail inmates throughout the second week of May. The news comes as the jails’ medical provider says it has been unable to secure COVD shots from the state for months. 

Inmates were supposed to get vaccines ahead of the general population because jails are a high-risk environment. But many in county jails were left behind as the rollout expanded to others, and the state limited where those supplies went.

PrimeCareMedical, the healthcare provider for jails in over half of Pennsylvania’s counties, says it now has 2,000 vaccines for inmates and staff in Lehigh and Northampton County jails. Thomas Weber, the company’s CEO, says he believes more will be available soon. 

The vaccinations open the door to possibly loosening restrictions inside county jails that have been in place since the start of the pandemic. The sites have been locked down to visitors and inmates are kept in their cells for almost all hours of the day. COVID delays in the courts have also meant longer time served for some who couldn’t get a hearing date or make bail. 

The Northampton County Prison has a clinic scheduled for inmates and staff May 12, using both the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. 

The Lehigh County Jail will use the J&J shot for both groups May 14. 

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