Washington jail offers inmates ramen noodles for vaccines

(Photo by Giles Clarke/Getty Images)

Staff at a jail in south-central Washington state have come up with an inexpensive, but effective, way to encourage inmates to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

Since the first of the month the Benton County Jail has been giving away one of its most popular commissary items to inmates who sign up for their first COVID shot — ramen noodles, the Olympian reported.

By Monday, the jail will have given out 900 packets of noodle soup to 90 inmates, said Scott Souza, chief of corrections for the Benton County Corrections Department.

It’s advertised to inmates around the jail with fliers featuring a larger-than-life photo of the seasoned, wavy noodles and a headline that says SOUPS FOR SHOTS.

"To encourage and support COVID vaccination efforts, the Benton County Department of Corrections will be providing each inmate that starts their vaccination series with 10 FREE RAMEN NOODLE SOUPS!!!" say posters around the jail in Kennewick, Wash.

"We’re doing everything we can do to incentivize vaccination and we are getting outstanding response," Souza said.

Any inmate, no matter how long their stay, is eligible for the program if they have not been immunized yet. The Benton County jail has shared information about the program with other jails in the state, Souza said.


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