COVID-19 update for correctional employees: January 5, 2021
This content is a message to Correctional Service Canada (CSC) staff from CSC's Commissioner.
I wanted to take a moment to wish all of you a happy and healthy New Year, and provide an update on the COVID-19 vaccine.
Vaccines are a critical way to limit the spread of the virus. Just as we have all adopted rigorous public health measures to limit the spread of the virus, vaccination is key to further protecting everyone.
In recent weeks, there have been rapid developments on COVID-19 vaccines, which is welcomed news. Correctional Service Canada (CSC) has been working closely with public health partners on the rollout of the vaccine to employees as well as federal inmates in our custody.
CSC employees fall under provincial health care jurisdiction and will receive their vaccines from their home province/territory. Our staff are top of mind, especially those who work closely with inmates diagnosed with COVID-19 and those who work in congregate living settings. CSC is working closely with provinces to ensure vaccination is prioritized, as it becomes available. To this effect, there are different phases in terms of who gets the vaccine and when, based on established guidelines from the:
For example, health care workers who provide close, direct care to inmates should expect to be vaccinated in the first phase. This helps to protect CSC's essential health care services, similar to our health care system in our communities. One province has already started vaccinating CSC's health care workers and many other provinces are in the process of planning their vaccination clinics and have been engaging with us. More news on this will follow in coming weeks. The NACI guidelines currently envision other institutional and community frontline workers being offered vaccinations in phase two.
Under the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (CCRA), CSC has an obligation to provide essential health care to inmates. To this effect, CSC will be vaccinating the inmate population. CSC has been working closely with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and has begun receiving doses of the Moderna vaccine, which was recently approved by Health Canada. At this time, as per the NACI guidelines, CSC will be vaccinating approximately 600 older offenders prioritized by age and underlying medical conditions.
CSC will continue to follow the NACI guidelines and work with our public health partners to support the timely allocation, distribution and administration of the vaccine for staff and offenders under our care as efficiently, equitably and effectively as possible. For more information on vaccines, please read:
Information will be added to the HUB as it becomes available.
Thank you again for all your efforts. Please continue to:
- wear your mask
- wash/sanitize your hands often, and
- practice physical distancing, to protect yourself and others.
Stay safe and thank you once again for all of your hard work, dedication and commitment over the past year!
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