Denver Sheriff Department and Denver Health Hit a Milestone Distributing 4,000 COVID-19 Vaccines to Individuals in Denver’s Custody
Denver, CO – March 15, 2022
The Denver Sheriff Department (DSD) and Denver Health medical staff have distributed more than 4,000 COVID-19 vaccines to individuals in custody at the Downtown Detention Center and the Denver County Jail.
“As our communities continue to combat COVID-19, we mark this milestone and our journey to educate and vaccinate those in our custody,” said Sheriff Elias Diggins
The distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to individuals in custody began in March 2021. Then at the beginning of November 2021, an incentive program was implemented. The program offers 10 Ramen noodle soups or a combination of 1 coffee and 5 Ramen noodle soups for each COVID-19 vaccine that an individual receives. Inmates that had already received a vaccine dosage while in DSD custody were offered these items for each COVID-19 vaccine dose. Educational material, videos, and one-on-one conversations have also been provided about the COVID-19 virus and the COVID-19 vaccinations.
From March 2021 through October 2021, 1,673 vaccine dosages had been distributed. From November 1, 2021, through the end of the year an additional 2,328 COVID-19 vaccine dosages were distributed for a total of 4,001 vaccines. The incentive program has proven to be very popular and successful with tripling the number of vaccination dosages.
“Providing COVID-19 vaccines in Denver Jails is very important when trying to slow the spread of the virus,” said Carmen Kassatly, Denver Health’s Jail Administrator. “The vaccine incentive program has been a great tool to help start the conversation and answer questions about being vaccinated.”
The first Moderna vaccine was given on March 17, 2021, at the Downtown Detention Center, and on March 18, 2021, at the Denver County Jail. Currently, both Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are offered to individuals in custody. If someone is released from custody before receiving the second dose of the Moderna vaccine, resource material and instructions are provided to them by Denver Health medical staff. The COVID-19 vaccinations will continue to be distributed to those who would like to receive them.
Denver Health is a comprehensive health and hospital system that provides high-quality care for all people, regardless of their ability to pay. We deliver medical care to one-third of Denver’s population, proudly serving as the city’s safety-net hospital and providing preventative, primary and acute care services. For more than 160 years, Denver Health has been deeply rooted in the health and well-being of the community, providing high-quality clinical care, top-notch education and training for health care workers, and furthering critical research to benefit our patients. We are guided by our mission to serve our community with excellence, compassion, and stewardship as we work to ensure all people have access to the care and programs they need to be happy, healthy and successful.