Swine Flu / H1N1 Vaccine and Inmates

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Google “H1N1 Vaccine” and “inmates” and you’ll discover the public policy debate-de-jour: To vaccine or not to vaccinate the prison population?

Over 300,000 hits tells you that this is a social justice problem that is growing.  At issue is that in certain areas inmates are receiving the vaccine faster than the general public that most need the remedy (children and the elderly). In general I believe any appearance at preference for prisoners is really just a matter of bad timing: the distribution of the vaccine has been a cluster-fuck of disorganization – it’s a miracle they can even roll this out with any semblance of order.  Also, if we’re going to rehabilitate these folk back into society don’t we want them healthy? And yes, that involves the lifers and death-row inmates too as they are in close confinement with the rest of the lot.

On the other hand, if some don’t get the cure? What a convenient method for thinning the herd!

In Valleyfield, Quebec this is already causing a ruckus as some inmates were given the vaccine prior to prison guards, and now the prison guard union is in an uproar.

This is one headache where I wouldn’t want to be the decision-maker… Oy-yoy! You’re screwed no matter what you do. Soft on criminals, or inflicting prison genocide: choose your poison. I can see the headlines for the 2011 elections now.

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