COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)- Governor Mike DeWine announced on Tuesday a vaccine is scheduled to arrive in Ohio around December 15, and the distribution plan has not been finalized.
According to the Ohio Department of Health Ohio will follow the Ohio Vaccination Distribution Plan which has people working in long term care facilities, nursing homes, high-risk healthcare workers and first responders to be among the first to receive a vaccine. The initial shipment of vaccine will be limited and firefighters and EMS workers are concerned they’ll be left out.
“If vaccinations are coming or there is help coming, we feel like we should be a part of that. It’s dangerous out here and we’re on the front lines,” said Mark Hill, Director of Communications, Ohio Professional Fire Fighters.
The International Association of Fire Fighters started a nationwide effort to ensure firefighters, paramedics, and EMTs get priority access to the COVID-19 vaccine.
Melanie Amato, Press Secretary for the Ohio Department of Health said, “Specific administration or vaccination details are unavailable until a vaccine is approved by the FDA, so at this time we can’t get into the specifics of who those first responders may be.”
“We start off anybody who is in direct contact, direct contact with COVID patients whether that’s in a hospital or outside the hospital,” said Governor Mike DeWine, (R) Ohio on Tuesday.
According to the IAFF, its members are the first line of emergency public health for most of the nation and are often exposed to those with the virus.
“We’re still out there in essentially uncontrolled environments, right? We go into a home, most people’s homes aren’t COVID proof,” said Hill.
Hill explained, ultimately, the vaccine can’t come soon enough for first responders.
“I’ve got a family, other members have families that they go home to every day and we just want to be protected,” said Hill.