Thousands of Massachusetts inmates will get coveted swine-flu vaccinations weeks before the general public, the Boston Herald reports. “I can think of a number of populations that are more needy and vulnerable than prisoners,” said state Sen. Mark Montigny, who co-chairs the legislative committee on public health.
Jail officials warn their population – especially those in high-risk groups from the AIDS-infected to aging prisoners – could spread the flu at a frightful pace if they are not inoculated. “It's a perfect breeding ground,” said Middlesex Sheriff James DiPaola, who quelled riots at a jail in July after rumors about swine flu cases spread among prisoners. All county jails and prisons have asked for the vaccine, including the Department of Correction, which requested 21,000 doses to innoculate staff and inmates.