PORTLAND, Ore. — Besides frontline health care workers, much of the COVID-19 vaccine Oregon has received is earmarked for first responders.
Portland Fire & Rescue received 1,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday and began administering them to firefighters/EMTs and paramedics on Thursday.
KGW live streamed Portland Fire & Rescue first responders receiving the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination on Thursday morning.
"Immediate vaccination of our crews will help us remain available to safely respond to all emergency needs, including COVID-19 responses," said Fire Chief Sara Boone in a statement. "Like many other fire departments and EMS providers, we have not been immune to the spread of SARSCoV-2 amongst our ranks and throughout our bureau."
On Wednesday, American Medical Response offered the vaccine to all off-duty personnel to make sure they don’t have a reaction to the shot while on duty.
Paramedic Tyler Harmon was among those who received the vaccination. He said be believes it’s a critical layer of defense against catching or potentially spreading the virus to patients.
“I think it's the first step in going back to normal or what we perceived as normal before all the quarantining,” Harmon said. “It’s the first step for us to go out and be comfortable, again.”
Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue just received 1,000 vaccine doses from The Oregon Health Authority. They’ve spent the last month working with public health partners to organize how they'll vaccinate first responders in the 1a category. They expect to start administering the vaccine next week.
On Wednesday, Clackamas County shared on Twitter that they'd received 1,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine which will go to frontline health care workers and first responders.