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First responders scheduled to get COVID-19 vaccine with essential workers


SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A three-phase plan for people to get vaccinated in Missouri is in place. A spokesperson for the International Fire Fighters Association (IAFF) said first responders should be getting vaccinated first along with health care workers at long-term care facilities.

“One of the reasons is we are the first line in public health to many Americans,” said Doug Stern, media relations director for IAFF. “We are the first ones going out to call 911 to get to the hospital because they have COVID. We’re working in the uncontrolled environments of people’s homes.”

The IAFF wrote a letter to the National Governors Association calling on governors to give fire fighters and paramedics, who the IAFF said have been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, priority access to vaccines.

The CDC’s plan groups first responders, including firefighters, EMTs and law enforcement, with Phase 1B – as all other essential workers.

Stern said more than 30,000 firefighters have been exposed to COVID-19 while on duty since the pandemic began. He said not only does it put coworkers and their families at risk, but it’s also dangerous to the entire community.

“By vaccinating, we can stop those quarantines, and we can save city’s money on the other side,” said Stern. “You can’t ever put a price on somebody’s life, but when we talk about making sure that we have enough firefighters still ready to respond, by vaccinating, we’re keeping our crews safe. We’re keeping them available to keep responding to the community.”

You can see where you fall in Missouri’s three-phase plan in the story below:

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