ROCHESTER, Minn. - For the first time COVID-19 vaccines are being offered and given to Olmsted County Adult Detention Center detainees.
The center wants to avoid a positive case that may quickly spread among the jail population.
However, because of guidelines and vaccine availability this week is the first time they've been been able to get vaccinated.
Captain of Operations Macey Tesmer says 19 our of nearly 75 detainees signed up to receive a dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Tesmer says since not all staff members are vaccinated there's a risk an employee will bring the virus into the center and cause an outbreak.
She explained, "This is a congregate living facility, just like a nursing home would be, so if we had a detainee that made it to a general population unit that was COVID positive that person could infect up to 20 or 30 other people and then we'd have a pretty significant outbreak."
The center also had to wait for public health to receive the J&J vaccine since it's one dose.
"We waited until public health was able to get a batch of Johnson & Johnson because it's a one shot thing and some of our folks won't be in custody by the time they would need their second shot and it will be a little bit tougher to track folks down to get that done so we waited until we could do the one shot dose," added Tesmer.
The center hopes to offer another round of vaccinations in the future but, will again, have to wait for another supply of one dose vaccinations.