THOMASVILLE — COVID-19 vaccinations are now available to Thomas County Jail inmates who desire the inoculation.
"Those who wish to have it will receive it," said Capt. Steven Jones, Thomas County Sheriff's Office public relations and acting jail administrator.
Thomas County Health Department personnel will administer the vaccinations.
Jones said 25 of the jail's 180 inmates have expressed an interest in receiving the vaccination, adding that he is disappointed the number is not greater, but an inmate cannot be force to be inoculated.
"We're making it available," Jones said. "It is purely voluntary."
Not only will the vaccinations make it easier to keep the novel coronavirus out of the jail, but it will make inmates safer when they return to the community, Jones said.
The vaccinations will continue as long as inmates request them.
Jail staff continues to wear masks. Those booked into the jail are screened and isolated for a period of time while being watched for COVID-19 symptoms.
The jail has had two inmate COVID-19 cases since the outbreak began in 2020.
The vaccine has been made available to all sheriff's office employees, Jones said.