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Daughter of woman who died of flu in prison shares story


An Oregon lawsuit is forcing prison officials to take a closer look at the health care of inmates.

It comes after Tina Ferri, a female inmate at the state women’s prison, the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Wilsonville, died from the flu nearly a year ago.

On Monday, NewsChannel 21 spoke to her daughter to find out what she wants to see changed.

In 2018, only 519 vaccines were available for the more than 1,600 inmates housed at the facility at the time. Because of that, Ferri’s daughter, Mistina Ferri, filed a $7.5 million lawsuit in Washington County against the Oregon Department of Corrections.

She and her lawyer claim the prison was negligent and failed to provide adequate health care to inmates.

Mistina Ferri said she wants the system to change. Instead of only offering inmates a flu shot who ask for one, she wants to see an opt-out policy, so everyone gets a vaccine automatically, unless someone explicitly refuses.

“I want more. Like I said, I want it nationwide,” she said. “It shouldn’t just be just this county or this state. It should be everywhere, because nobody should have to deal with that. Nobody should have to go through that. They should be treated like humans, not like pieces of dirt on the side of the road.”

NewsChannel 21 reached out to the Oregon Department of Corrections last year, but they were unable to speak about their policies due to the lawsuit.

Mistina Ferri said since her lawsuit, she’s heard that prisons have tried to make inmates more aware of available flu vaccines.

She also said that before going to prison, her mom always got her flu shot.

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