COVID vaccination campaign in prison: Intervention strategies and outcomes

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Anna De Chiara


Introduction: On 30 January 2020, WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak in China a public health emergency of international concern.

The Italian government, the following day, proclaimed a state of emergency and implemented the first measures to contain the contagion throughout the country.

On 27 December 2020, after approval by the EMA, the population anti-COVID-19 vaccination campaign was launched in Italy and Europe with the aim of achieving herd immunity for SARS-CoV2 as soon as possible. On 26 March 2021, the anti-COVID vaccination campaign started within the prisons of the province of Salerno.

Methods: The province of Salerno has three penitentiary institutes on its territory out of the fifteen present in the Campania region.

The vaccinations were carried out to the staff of the Penitentiary Police and to the prisoners (of any gender and age) by the NHS staff working in the prisons. Ad hoc vaccination centers have been set up at each prison. The vaccines were distributed by the district pharmacies of ASL SALERNO.

Results: From 26 March 2021 to 31 December 2021, 1540 people were vaccinated among detainees and staff belonging to the penitentiary police within the Penitentiary Institutes insistent on the territory of ASL SALERNO.

Initially, the vaccinations were carried out with the Vaxzevria vaccine ( Astrazeneca ), subsequently the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson), Pfizer ( Biontech ) and Moderna vaccines were used . The Astrazeneca vaccine has met with resistance in carrying out and recorded many refusals; vaccination with the use of the remaining vaccines has found a greater diffusion and greater adherence. In particular, the detainees preferred the administration of the single-dose vaccine. The refusals were justified by a lack of confidence in the proposed vaccine and by not wanting to carry out two doses.

Vaccination was therefore considered useful for the prevention of COVID-19 contagion and complications following contagion. The carrying out strategies have allowed maximum diffusion in a short time, also considering the disadvantageous elements given by the high turnover of the detainees.

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How to Cite
DE CHIARA, Anna. COVID vaccination campaign in prison: Intervention strategies and outcomes. Medical Research Archives, [S.l.], v. 11, n. 10, nov. 2023. ISSN 2375-1924. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 23 may 2024. doi:
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