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Faith community calls on Cuomo to include the incarcerated in vaccine rollout

Jan 29, 2021 2:45 pm

Amanda Fries is reporting for Capitol Confidential more than 100 faith-based leaders joined attorney and legal advocates in urging Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to include incarcerated people in the current phase of the vaccine rollout. The letter was co-sponsored by Congregation Beit Simchat Torah and Mt. Zion Church of God 7th Day, with the support of Center for Community Alternatives and the New York Jewish Agenda. It said the denial of access to the coronavirus vaccine for the incarcerated population would be “a grave public health risk and a violation of the core value of human dignity that lies at the heart of all our faith traditions.” The groups emphasized that they are not calling for incarcerated people to be prioritized above other high-risk groups, but that the vulnerable population be included in Phase 1B, the same as people in other congregate settings. The calls to prioritize people in jails and prisons comes as The Legal Aid Society threatened to sue the state if it did not establish a plan for vaccinating incarcerated individuals. Providing early access to COVID-19 vaccines was advised within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. Read the full story at Capitol Confidential, a Times Union blog.