The Greenfield Fire Department is raising concerns that first responders still haven’t received the COVID-19 vaccine despite their repeated contacts with the public.
“Just read, a hospital system administered 17,000 #CovidVaccine doses to their staff. Our number? #zero #zip #zilch #none
Our members are on the front lines, truly working in the field, non ideal conditions, transporting Covid patients in small ambulance spaces #EMS_is_Healthcare,” Greenfield Fire tweeted.
Just read, a hospital system administered 17,000 #CovidVaccine doses to their staff. Our number? #zero #zip #zilch #none
Our members are on the front lines, truly working in the field, non ideal conditions, transporting Covid patients in small ambulance spaces #EMS_is_Healthcare
— Greenfield Fire (@greenfieldfire) December 29, 2020
First responders are in phase 2 of the state’s vaccine priorities. However, the state of Wisconsin says that it has been allocated 265,575 doses of COVID-19 vaccine as of Dec. 29 (made available to Wisconsin by the federal government). Of those, 156,875 have been shipped and only 47,157 administered. Furthermore, although the state says it would expect a higher number of vaccinations as the days pass, in Wisconsin, the number of vaccinations given plunged over Christmas week.
There are about 450,000 health care workers and nursing home residents in Wisconsin. According to Madison.com, the vaccine requires two doses “three or four weeks apart.”
The Milwaukee Police Department’s officers have also not received the vaccine. Instead, they were told they have to take a survey, which can be completed until January 11.
Wisconsin Right Now obtained a copy of the City of Milwaukee Health Department’s survey to police. It reads, in part, “As first responders you have interactions with the public on a daily basis. As the COVID-19 vaccine is being distributed and administered you, as a first responder, will have access to the vaccine before the general public. The Milwaukee Police Department in cooperation with the Milwaukee Health Department is working on a plan to administer this vaccine in an efficient manner to those who will benefit most. To make this plan successful we need input from you. Please answer the below questions…”
The survey asks for officers’ information if they have a pre-existing medical condition that puts them at higher risk for developing complications from COVID-19. The second question says the vaccine is not mandatory and asks if officers plan to get it.
The City of Milwaukee health Department’s website says that first responders, including police and fire, are in that city’s second group to get the vaccine along with all other essential workers, including the “education sector,” “food + agriculture, utilities, corrections officers, transportation.”
The first group designated to get the vaccine are healthcare personnel and residents of long-term care facilities.
The third group? Adults with high risk medical conditions and adults 65+. The vaccine should be available to the general public by the summer.
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention says, “Depending upon the number of initial vaccine doses available, jurisdictions might consider first offering vaccination to residents and health care personnel in skilled nursing facilities because of high medical acuity and COVID-19–associated mortality (6) among residents in these settings.”
The State of Wisconsin says:
We are in Phase 1A of the vaccine prioritization guidelines. Right now, in the early weeks of Phase 1A, the few doses we have are available to frontline health care providers and skilled nursing facility staff and residents. As vaccine supply increases, other health care personnel and long-term care facility residents and staff will be offered COVID-19 vaccination. We expect that it will take several months to vaccinate everyone eligible in Phase 1A.
After we get more vaccine supply and vaccinate those in Phase 1A, we anticipate that Phase 1B may include persons aged 75 and older and non–health care frontline essential workers. Then we anticipate in Phase 1C, persons aged 65–74, persons aged 16–64 with high-risk medical conditions, and essential workers not included in Phase 1B will start receiving COVID-19 vaccine. This information is subject to change based on further guidlines and vaccine supply.