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Encouraging Sign: Many California Prisoners Willing To Be Vaccinated

Cartoon people line up while a giant vaccine appears overhead.
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Two-thirds of California prisoners who were offered a COVID-19 vaccine accepted at least one dose, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

“We found that many incarcerated people in California prisons were willing to be vaccinated for COVID-19,” said Elizabeth Chin, the lead author of the study and a PhD candidate in biomedical data science. “This is an encouraging sign for other states at an early stage of rolling out vaccination programs in their prisons and jails.”

The researchers also found that nearly half of those who initially turned down a COVID-19 vaccine accepted it when it was offered to them again. The finding is an important indication that vaccine hesitancy is not necessarily fixed.

Two-thirds of 97,779 incarcerated residents in the state’s 35 prisons were offered vaccines and 66.5% of offerees accepted at least one dose, the researchers found, although uptake varied across different groups.

Lead author of this study, Elizabeth Chin, is a 2017 SGF Fellow, and co-author, Tess Rychman, is a 2016 SFG Fellow.

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