GREEN BAY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Brown County

Front-line workers want first round of COVID-19 vaccines when approved

Coronavirus

GREEN BAY, Wis.(WFRV)- As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect Wisconsin and beyond, the announcement that Pfizer and Moderna are close to getting approval after developing vaccines to fight the coronavirus is getting attention worldwide. As both companies await the Food and Drug Administration’s decision, frontline workers are asking how the vaccines will be distributed and if they can get the first round.

The National Association of Fire Chiefs, International Association of Fire Fighters, National Association of State Fire Marshals, and others released a statement saying that First Responders are working in the same healthcare system as doctors and nurses in hospitals and should get priority when the approved vaccines are released. “The nation`s fire fighters, paramedics and EMTs serve as the first link in the COVID-19 response. These environments are unstructured, unprotected and place public safety personnel in close quarters with COVID-19 patients, causing increased exposure for the responder,” said the release.

Here locally, Brian Johnson Alderman for District 9, agrees with the statement. “I think that there are individuals that just inherently by what they do are presented a higher degree of risk. Emergency personnel are certainly some of those individuals,” said Johnson. The Centers for Disease Control reportedly held a meeting on Tuesday to discuss if front-line workers should get the first round.

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If the vaccinations are approved, the first doses could roll out before the end of the year. State governors will ultimately make the final decision for their states, but the CDC is expected to prioritize the elderly and healthcare workers. At this point, it is unclear if that will include first responders.

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