PORTLAND, Ore. — Multnomah County gave 108 inmates at the Inverness Jail the COVID-19 vaccine on Feb. 2, according to county spokesperson Julie Sullivan-Springhetti.
Corrections and health staff at the jail were offered the vaccine in January.
The news comes around the same time the county confirmed 107 inmates at Inverness Jail had tested positive for COVID-19 since Jan. 15, 2021. According to the county, "only a small number" of inmates have developed symptoms, and no deaths have been reported.
There are currently 532 people jailed at that location, meaning about 20% of the Inverness inmate population has gotten the vaccine.
Sullivan-Springhetti said she wasn't sure when the next round of vaccines would be offered to inmates at Inverness.
"Like everyone, [the vaccines] are being affected by the shortages. We are hoping to have a small number available next week to also add," she said in an email.
In December 2020, the county asked Gov. Kate Brown to prioritize adults in custody to receive the vaccine, as social distancing and health precautions in jails and prisons can be difficult to maintain.
This effort to vaccinate inmates at Inverness Jail is separate from the ruling a judge made late Tuesday night, asking the state to immediately offer inmates inside state prisons the COVID vaccine as part of the 1a vaccination group. In those facilities, almost one in four inmates have tested positive for COVID-19, while 42 deaths have been reported.
Charles Boyle, a spokesman for Gov. Brown, said the state will not appeal the judge's ruling.
"With the court’s ruling requiring an accelerated timeline and making clear that vaccinations must be offered to adults in custody with Phase 1a prioritization, we will move ahead with a weekly approach that will integrate adults in custody into our Phase 1a distribution plans," Boyle said.
Boyle said the state does not anticipate that the adjustment will alter Oregon's timeline for beginning Phase 1b vaccinations, but noted that is dependent on the weekly vaccine supplies Oregon receives from the federal government.
Five thousand vaccines are heading to Oregon's prison system, the Department of Corrections confirmed. Inmate vaccination clinics will start the week of Feb. 8.