Mass. First Responders Begin to Receive Vaccine, But Some Still Have Concerns About Rollout

Firefighters in Quincy were among the first emergency workers to receive the coronavirus vaccine in Massachusetts

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Several firefighters in Quincy, Massachusetts, got their first coronavirus vaccine doses at the Manet Community Health Center Thursday.

The firefighters are among the first emergency workers to receive the vaccine. Plans are in the works to do a lot more in the coming weeks. But Rich MacKinnon, president of the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts, is concerned.

"Our numbers are increasing," he said. "We're seeing the highest number of firefighters that have COVID and are in quarantine, and it's going to affect the way we respond and staff our fire departments across the state."

In Worcester, the city is taking the lead for the seven communities in the regional health alliance, organizing shots for first responders. But the first sleeves won't be rolled up just yet.

"They'll be providing, hopefully the week of Jan. 11, the first vaccine to our Worcester police officers, our Worcester firefighters, as well as our emergency personnel," said City Manager Edward Augustus.

The task requires proper storage of the vaccine, volunteers to give the shots and records to make sure the second dose is administered. More vaccination sites are planned, as well.

At a meeting with state public health and emergency operations officials, MacKinnon learned about those.

"Starting Jan. 18, they hope to have five more vaccination sites for first responders," he said. "One of them at Fenway Park, one at Gillette stadium and one at the Big E."

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