Firefighters & EMS Fund takes stand on vaccination access

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Firefighters & EMS Fund is once again taking a stand for first responders across the U.S. In a strong statement, Executive Director Nile Porter commented, “We understand that determining who will be given priority for the coronavirus vaccine is a complex task. States and local governments must weigh their supply against which groups are the best candidates to be inoculated immediately.

“But the fact remains that Firefighters, EMS, and other first responders are going out into their communities on a daily basis and consistently risking exposure to the virus, putting themselves and their families in danger. It is in the best interest of departments and the communities who depend on them that first responders are able to receive vaccines to prevent illness and maintain safe levels of service.”

There is not a uniform policy nationwide to determine who will be first in line, and while the government has recommendations, it is ultimately up to state officials to determine when and to whom a vaccine will be given. The CDC’s recommendations for who should be vaccinated first follows the logic of who is most at risk. “CDC recommends that initial supplies of COVID-19 vaccine be allocated to healthcare personnel and long-term care facility residents. This is referred to as Phase 1a.” Phase 1b suggests vaccinating frontline workers, such as first responders.

However, some states are pushing frontline workers back and deprioritizing firefighters and EMS personnel. Firefighters & EMS Fund continues to urge all states to adhere to the CDC guidelines and make sure our first responders are prioritized and protected. “We owe them a huge debt of gratitude for the work they have done over the past year,” concluded Mr. Porter. “One of the best ways we can thank them is by ensuring that they are protected from the coronavirus.” 

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