BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD) Amelia Herrera is on a mission with the creation of the COVAC campaign.
“Covid, C-O, VAC, Vaccinations,” said Herrera.
She’s trying to educate families with relatives behind bars about the COVID-19 vaccine. She’s hoping they can persuade those inside to get vaccinated.
Reports show inmates are five times more likely to contract the virus.
“They can’t social distance. They can’t self-quarantine. They don’t have the ability to sanitize the area. They are always shoulder-to-shoulder and foot-to-foot,” said Herrera.
Amelia’s campaign is personal because her son is incarcerated in the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison.
“Because of him, I saw a need to have those people that are incarcerated there to protect their health, under these poor and deplorable health conditions,” said Herrera.
The City of Baton Rouge has a contract with CorrectHealth to provide vaccines to inmates at the facility.
A spokesman said currently 487 inmates are vaccinated out of 1,040, less than 50 percent of the population.
“We would like to see 90 percent or more vaccinated,” said Herrera.
Over the past month, Amelia believes she’s already made a difference with her campaign. She’s getting help from the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison Reform Coalition and other state agencies. They plan to go into communities to provide education and give shots.
“This is just the first tier of healthcare issues that we are going to tackle,” said Herrera.
Prison leaders said out of the current population, they have 12 inmates in isolation with COVID-19.
Between March 2020 to June 2021, there were 10,056 bookings and only 191 of those people tested positive for coronavirus. They said more vaccinations are planned over the next few weeks.