Are prisoners being given priority for H1N1 shots? - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Are prisoners being given priority for H1N1 shots?

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There's criticism in several states that prisoners are getting swine flu vaccines before law abiding citizens.

You've seen the long lines and the frantic parents waiting for hours to get their kids the H1N1 vaccine. And while it's only pregnant women and children who are the CDC's priority list right now and some Americans wait for their turn, stepping ahead of the line could be some of the world's most dangerous people.

According to a report form the Miami Herald, the Pentagon has decided to vaccinate both soldiers and terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Dave Epstein, a retired colonel and military police officer, says ensuring the health and safety of our prisoners is imperative to the well being of the country.

"There is no question that our children and everybody else ought to get the vaccine, but we have to comply with treaties and make sure our place in the world is not denigrated by giving them inadequate treatment," Epstein said.

It's not just the world's most wanted getting the priority treatment. Across the country, in places like Texas and Ohio, prisoners are moving to the front of the line when it comes to getting vaccinated.

Here in California, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation says it follows prioritization guidelines from the CDC.

The CDC's website declares correctional institutions pose special risks. Workers and inmates may have medical conditions that increase their risk of flu infections.

At this point, the State of California has not yet received any vaccines for inmates.

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