Canadian politicians are in the midst of a disagreement over whether COVID-19 vaccines should be given to inmates ahead of the rest of the population. 

The debate stems from the federal government's announcement that around 600 people in prisons will get the COVID-19 vaccine as early as Friday, according to HuffPost Canada.

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600

Inmates to be vaccinated 

Many politicians have spoken out against the decision, saying other Canadians should be the first priority. 

"Not one criminal should be vaccinated ahead of any vulnerable Canadian or front line health worker," Erin O'Toole said in a Tweet.

Premier Doug Ford agreed, saying in a press conference on Wednesday that he "still can't believe it's gonna happen."

"How do you put them ahead of long-term care patients? I imagine whoever the minister is in charge of that dropped the ball majorly," he said.

Minister of Public Safety Bill Blair defended the federal government's decision.

"Prisons have been identified as a higher risk environment because recommended social distancing and other health measures can be more challenging in a custodial setting," he said on Twitter

Mark Gerretsen,  a Kingston MP, chimed in on Twitter adding "I prefer health care professionals deciding on the best way to slow down the spread, and eventually end, the pandemic. Not Erin O’Toole."

So far 1,149 inmates have tested positive for the virus and three have died, according to federal data.

 
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