By Renée Santos

STOCKTON (CBS13) — Inmates are near the front of the line for the coronavirus vaccine with vaccinations happening at the California Health Care Facility in Stockton.

Right now in the state of California, there are more than 10,000 inmates with COVID-19, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Among staff, there are more than 3,000 infections.

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The California Correctional Health Care Services says three of its institutions, including the California Health Care Facility in Stockton, have been identified and qualify for the first phase of vaccine distribution.

So why are prisoners getting vaccinated before others? CBS13 reached out to CDCR who referred us to the California Correctional Health Care Services Department who didn’t go into detail, only confirming vaccines have been received.

We also reached out to the State Department of Public Health but didn’t get a response.

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Prisons across the state have been hit hard by COVID-19 with social distancing difficult to practice due to close living quarters and many inmates with health issues, making them more susceptible.

In addition, there have been several outbreaks with more than 112 inmates who have died from the virus and 11 staff members, according to CDCR.

We asked people how they feel about this latest vaccination distribution. Many have mixed opinions.

“I feel like they do need it just as bad as we do because they are also in that confined area,” one person said.

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“I don’t know why they are not full-fledged going into the nursing homes and places like that, I mean they need it just the same,” another person said.