EMTs are included in Phase 1A of the vaccination plan for COVID-19. Phase 1A consist of healthcare system staff, primary care physicians, EMS, COVID-19 specimen collectors, home health/hospice staff, long term care residents/staff, pharmacists, dentist, dental hygienist, school nurses, therapist, mental healthcare providers, optometrist, chaplains, chiropractors, veterinarian staff and public health.
The Arnold Volunteer Fire Department was first contacted by their medical director, Dr. Williams, a few weeks ago to let them know that the vaccines were going to be available to the EMTs in the very near future. At AVFD’s December meeting, Dr. Williams, Dr. Svoboda and Brett Eggleston joined members by Zoom to inform the department about the vaccine and answer any questions they might have. The department was informed that the Moderna vaccine would be the vaccine that would be available to them.
Brett Eggleston, CEO of Callaway District Hospital, explained that the original plan was for everyone to go the Loup Basin Health Department in Burwell to receive their vaccines, but he felt that was not very feasible for many of the EMTs. He worked with Loup Basin Health Department and
brought the vaccines to Callaway himself to be administered by the Callaway Medical Clinic staff. Brett then set up times for Arnold, Callaway and Oconto EMTs and other healthcare providers to come in on Thursday, December 31, to receive their vaccines. These vaccines were free of charge and the Callaway Clinic waived the administration fees for the EMTs.
There is a lot of planning involved in administering these vaccines. Each vial contains 10 vaccines. Once the vial is open, they have to be used within 6 hours. After the first vaccine, a second vaccine must be administered within a few weeks so that appointment was also set up the day of the first vaccine.
The firemen will be included in Phase 1B of the vaccination plan and Arnold Volunteer Fire Department has several firemen who will be getting the vaccine. If you have had COVID-19 in the last 90 days, you are not eligible to participate in the vaccination plan at this time, but can get the vaccination after the 90 days. The Callaway medical staff have been great to work with those individuals on getting them schedule for vaccines as well.
The FDA authorized the emergency use of the Moderna vaccine for ages 18 and older due to the COVID-19 pandemic.