RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Thursday the Virginia Department of Corrections announced it has given the COVID-19 vaccine to more than half of its inmates and staff.

“Vaccinating DOC staff and inmates makes the whole community safer,” said Virginia Department of Corrections Director Harold Clarke. “Not only are our staff going into the community each day, but sometimes people forget that if an inmate gets very sick with COVID and has to be hospitalized, that inmate is occupying a community hospital bed. Inmates are a part of their local communities.”

VADOC said more than 13,000 inmates and over 6,000 staff have received the first of the two Moderna COVID-19 shots. They said all inmates who receive the first shot are scheduled to receive the second four weeks later, and about 3,000 people have received their second dose.

The department said Deloitte is assisting them with a strategy for vaccine distribution in collaboration with the Virginia Department of Health. VADOC added they have a weekly consult with members of the University of Virginia’s infectious disease team about its vaccine rollout.