The majority of inmates at detention centers in Guilford and Forsyth Counties are refusing to be vaccinated.
Last week, officials at the Forsyth County jail polled their population of nearly 600 inmates to find out how many would take a shot if offered one.
“The reality of it is 197 said they wanted it," said Major Rich Carleton, who manages the detention center. "Only 148 actually took it.”
About a quarter of the center's population received a Johnson & Johnson vaccine courtesy of the county health department. Carleton called that number disappointing but says staff is working to increase trust.
“We are pushing some information out," said Carleton. "The medical providers are talking with the inmates and our staff is too. So we're trying to educate and re-educate and trying to bump the numbers up.”
Guilford County is contending with similar rates of hesitancy. Vaccinations are scheduled to begin next week in the county's two detention centers, with about 35% of inmates opting to get shots.
Both counties have dealt with COVID-19 outbreaks in their detention centers. In total, more than 300 people were infected with the virus at the Forsyth County jail. The facility currently has no active cases.
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