PRISONERS should be the first in line for a Covid-19 vaccine, research from the University of Oxford shows.

Experts put incarcerated people in line for coronavirus immunization as prisons can easily become a 'reservoir for infection' to the community as turnover is high and transmission can occur at multiple points including via staff.

The research highlighted that effective isolation and quarantine measures are difficult due to overcrowding, poor ventilation, sanitation and hygiene, which are common in a number of prisons.

This comes as 82-year-old retired maintenance manager Brian Pinker, who is from Oxford, became the first person in the world to receive the Oxford University and AstraZeneca vaccine outside clinical trials.

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Professor Seena Fazel from University of Oxford commented: "Prisons are high-risk settings for the transmission of contagious diseases and there are considerable challenges in managing outbreaks in them.

"Our research suggests that people in prison should be among the first groups to receive any Covid-19 vaccine to protect against infection and to prevent further spread of the disease.

"The prison population is generally at higher risk of complications from infection because of the increased prevalence of underlying health conditions, and the overrepresentation of marginalised groups that have been disproportionately affected by the virus.

"A public health approach to managing Covid-19 in prisons is important now and for any future infectious disease outbreaks."