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Alabama Spends $500,000 to Vaccinate State Prisoners

The Alabama DOC has launched an innovative program to vaccinate prisoners for Hepatitis A and B. Hepatitis is a disease that damages the liver with the potential to be fatal. Alabama optimistically hopes to inoculate over half of its prisoners during the next year at a cost of one-half million dollars.

Ordinarily, adults are not vaccinated for Hepatitis A and B. State Health Officer Donald Williamson says that prisoners were targeted for treatment because of high drug use and sexual activity in prison.

?You have a population that is at high risk of being infected living with a group that is at high risk of being exposed,? he said.

Governor Bob Riley did not officially approve the expenditure. House Budget Director John Knight, D-Montgomery, initiated the program with $500,000 in discretionary money assigned to the DOC. A record amount is also allotted to next year?s vaccination program.

Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithCline lobbied for the vaccination program. They will now administer the vaccine.

Source: Montgomery Advertiser

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