COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – The Columbus Health Department has partnered with the Muscogee County Jail to provide inmates with the Moderna Vaccine. The health department began administering vaccines around 10 a.m. April 19, at vaccination sites set up on the floors of each dormitory.

Inmates formed a line outside of the room where the vaccine was being administered and two inmates were allowed into the room at a time. Jimmy Chatman, an inmate at Muscogee County jail, said he’s glad to have jail officials who care.

“It feels good that they care about us, so that we can get our COVID-19 shot,” Chatman said.

There are roughly 900 inmates inside the jail and 140 inmates and employees were able to receive their vaccine. Jail officials are working on getting the Health Department to come out again this week to continue administering the vaccine to inmates who were unable to get vaccinated.

Any new inmates that enter the jail will not receive the vaccine right away. Jail officials will try to work with the Health Department again to allow new inmates to receive the vaccine if they have not been vaccinated outside the jail.

Lieutenant Colonel John Darr told News 3 Sheriff Greg Countryman is committed to the welfare of inmates.

“I think this is just a continuation of him showing people in our community that he is really focused and committed to doing that,” Darr said. “When you have an inmate that sees that, it makes me feel good because I want everyone in the community to know and the inmates housed here to know that their welfare and health is very important.”

Each inmate that got the vaccine has been accounted for and they will get their vaccination card when they are released. If an inmate is released before they are able to get their second dose of the Moderna vaccine, they can follow up with the Health Department.

“We’ve done a real good job making sure we’ve got everybody’s name that has taken the shot today. We will then make sure if they’re released before the 28-30 days before the Health Department is able to come back. We can educate them on making sure they know they can go up to the Health Department to get the second follow up shot,” Darr said.

Inmates will receive their second dose of the Moderna Vaccine, May 19.