BLAIR COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Hospitals and healthcare facilities around the country have already received the Pfizer’s COVID vaccine.
There is no exact date that first responders will receive the coronavirus vaccine, but there is a state plan set in place for when in line they will receive it.
Phase one splits into 2 parts. We’re currently in the first part now as front-line healthcare workers begin getting the vaccine.
“Phase 1B, the next part of phase one, is going to be first responders and critical infrastructure workers,” Altoona fire chief, Tim Hileman said.
Blair County already has a critical workforce vaccination plan tested and in place for whenever the vaccine becomes available.
“We exercised our plan back in October and we were able to put a couple of hundred people through an hour through the pod point of dispensing, so as far as vaccines go, we are ready whenever it becomes available,” Hileman said.
First responders will receive the vaccine at the James E Van Zandt VA Medical Center in the parking lot, including their 2nd dose up to three weeks later.
“They will be able to come through, get their shot, will track it, make sure that they’re good, document when they had it and what type of vaccine they got so they know exactly when to come back to get the second dose, and we’re relying heavily on the vas resources for doctors, nurses, and health care providers that can actually administer the shot,” Hileman said.
If a first responder wishes to get the vaccine, they will register for it online. The vaccine is not mandatory but highly recommended.
“We’re taking every approach we can to educate people about it, the more information we get we’re going to share that with them so they can make a good decision about it,” Hileman said.
Some are still undecided if taking the vaccine is right for them.
“Some people said they were going to get it, some people said they weren’t going to get it, I have been debating that myself if I’m going to get this vaccine if it becomes available to me I am not quite sure what I am going to do,” fire chief, Freedom Township Fire Department, Ron Henry said.
“As far as my department and city employees, I’ll be the first one in line to get the shot, I feel that it’s safe and that the public can be rest assured that the shot is definitely going to get us out of the situation that we’re in, with being shut down and having our businesses down and just having life disrupted and I think this vaccine is going to be the quickest way to get back to normal,” Hileman said.
The Blair County Emergency Management Agency already has a plan in place for when the vaccines become available to the public.