Covid-19 Vaccine Acceptance in California State Prisons

Fernando Alarid-Escudero,  Profesor Investigador Titular de la División de Administración Pública, junto con Elizabeth T. Chin, David Leidner, Theresa Ryckman, Yiran E. Liu, Lea Prince, Jason R. Andrews, Joshua A. Salomon, Jeremy D. Goldhaber-Fiebert y David M. Studdert, escribieron: Covid-19 Vaccine Acceptance in California State Prisons en The New England Journal of Medicine.


Prisons and jails are high-risk settings for Covid-19, with case and mortality rates far exceeding those in the general community.1 More incarcerated people have died from Covid-19 in U.S. correctional facilities in the past year than died by capital punishment in the past 70 years.2 Some states, including California, have prioritized incarcerated people for vaccination.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) provided anonymized data at the person-day level for all California prison residents from December 22, 2020, when the CDCR vaccination program began, through March 4, 2021. The data, which are described in the Supplementary Appendix (available with the full text of this letter at and elsewhere,3 included variables that indicated which residents were offered doses of the BNT162b2 (Pfizer–BioNTech) or mRNA-1273 (Moderna) vaccine and which residents accepted. Our goal was to calculate the percentage of residents who accepted at least one dose among the residents who were offered doses and to use multivariable logistic regression analysis to estimate the probability of the acceptance of at least one dose according to the residents’ race or ethnic group, age group, medical vulnerability, and history of Covid-19. We also analyzed acceptance among residents who were reoffered vaccination after they had initially declined.


1. Hawks L, Woolhandler S, McCormick D. COVID-19 in prisons and jails in the United States. JAMA Intern Med 2020;180:1041-2.
2. Snell TL. Capital punishment, 2018 — statistical tables. Washington, DC: Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, September 2020 (
3. Chin ET, Ryckman T, Prince L, et al. Covid-19 in the California state prison system: an observational study of decarceration, ongoing risks, and risk factors. March 8, 2021 ( preprint.


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