WMFE is Central Florida's primary provider of NPR programming on 90.7 FM and Classical Music on 90.7 HD2. Part of the community since 1965, WMFE focuses on providing quality national and local news and programming. We inspire and empower all Central Floridians to discover, grow and engage within and beyond their world.
Support for 90.7 WMFE is provided by

Effort to vaccinate Florida prisoners not affected by pause in J&J use


Play Audio

FDOC Secretary Mark Inch, shown at a Florida Senate hearing earlier this year, is urging prison inmates to consider getting vaccinated. Image: The Florida Channel


Florida’s new effort to vaccinate state prisoners is unaffected by the sudden pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine.

The state had anticipated a reduction in J&J allocations and is using the two-dose Moderna vaccine instead.

The J&J vaccine has already been administered in three privately run prisons.

Secretary Mark Inch of the Florida Department of Corrections has survived COVID-19 himself with moderate but “awful” symptoms.

And now he has posted a personal message for inmates on the importance of vaccinations and the dangers of reinfection, hospitalization and death from the virus.

FDOC says 33,000 inmates — or 41 percent — want the vaccine. And the state has allocated that amount.

They have the right to refuse. But Inch asks them: “Is this really something you want to gamble on?”

He plans to build voluntary vaccinations into the prison intake process. And masks could become optional two weeks after all the staff members and inmates getting vaccinated have received their second shot.

As for himself, Inch says he still has antibodies. He’ll get vaccinated once all of the inmates have had the chance.

 


Get The 90.7 WMFE Newsletter

Your trusted news source for the latest Central Florida news, updates on special programs and more.

GET THE LATEST
Stay tuned in to our local news coverage: Listen to 90.7 WMFE on your FM or HD radio, the WMFE mobile app or your smart speaker — say “Alexa, play NPR” and you’ll be connected.

WMFE Journalistic Ethics Code | Public Media Code of Integrity

Joe Byrnes

About Joe Byrnes

Reporter

Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.

TOP