covid-19 vaccine

More North Texas First Responders to Get Vaccine

Dallas and Tarrant County first responders expected to receive coronavirus vaccine as 5,000 doses arrive this week

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More North Texas first responders are getting the COVID-19 vaccine and Wednesday, 50 Dallas Fire-Rescue paramedics received the shot at Parkland Hospital.

DFR tweeted that at least four of its medical directors received an inoculation Tuesday at Parkland.

More Dallas first responders could get the Moderna vaccine by Saturday with 2,000 more doses expected in the city by Friday.

"We’re so anxious and excited for getting this vaccine for our team," said Dallas Fire Chief Dominique Artis.

Since the start of the pandemic, nearly 800 employees within the city's fire and police departments contracted COVID-19. One Dallas police officer lost his life.

An internal push is underway to encourage first responders to get the shot.

"It is time for every police officer and firefighter in the city to ‘sleeve up’ and get this vaccine," said Lt. Alexander Eastman, Chief Medical Officer for the Dallas Police Department. "It’s our only way and our best hope to a return to normalcy in the coming weeks and months."

The city of Arlington is getting ready for when their shipment of the Moderna vaccine arrives.

The city transformed a section of its eSports Arena into an area to give vaccinations to first responders.

The Arlington Fire Department tweeted a picture of the setup saying “Arlington firefighters, AMR medics, as well as other Tarrant County firefighters and ambulance personnel” would be able to eventually get vaccinations at the location.

Arlington is expecting 3,000 Moderna vaccine doses in the coming days.

MedStar, which provides ambulatory services across Tarrant County, said their paramedics will be vaccinated starting on Saturday.

"We’ve got 350 field personnel who’ve been dealing with an average of 80 to 100 potential COVID patients a day," said MedStar spokesperson Matt Zavadsky. "They’re going to be able to get some protection against contracting the infection. It’s a very exciting time for our personnel."

Zavadsky said an internal survey a few weeks ago showed between 65-68% of MedStar personnel said they would get the vaccine. Now that one is actually available, Zavadsky said more employees are requesting one.

Once first responders are vaccinated, MedStar will wait for its role in the next phase of vaccine rollouts. Zavadsky said paramedics will be preparing to vaccinate the public as they become more readily available.

"We can go into apartment complexes, we can go into homeless camps and give vaccines because we’re a mobile resource," said Zavadsky.

Until that day comes, local leaders hope scenes of first responders being vaccinated will provide light at the end of a very dark year.

"[It's] a shot of hope & that was sorely needed right now," said Dr. Marshal Isaacs, Dallas Fire-Rescue Medical Director.

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