Cleveland begins vaccinating firefighters and EMS workers; police not included in first phase

Cleveland begins vaccinating firefighters and EMS workers; police not included in first phase

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) -The City of Cleveland has started vaccinating its first responders, in accordance with the Ohio Department of Health’s Phase 1A guidelines.

Fire Chief Angelo Calvillo was among the first to receive the Moderna vaccine on Thursday, followed by EMS Commissioner Nicole Carlton.

“We are the frontline of the City of Cleveland, the guardians that protect the city,” Calvillo said. “What a gift on Christmas Eve.”

He said firefighters, EMS workers, and their respective staffers who are on-duty on Thursday would be getting vaccinated, with plans to vaccinate the rest of fire and EMS employees over the next week.

The city employs approximately 1,000 people between the two divisions.

Those who receive the initial vaccine will then administer it to their colleagues.

The city is following state guidelines on the vaccination process, which means this particular phase does not include police officers.

“I am very disappointed that the Ohio Department of Health has determined that law enforcement officers do not qualify for the vaccines provided by the CDC for COVID-19 phase 1A. These front line officers are on the street day and night serving and deserve better,” said George Kral, Vice President of the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police.

“Certainly people can argue one way or another on any of these decisions,” Gov. Mike DeWine said last week when asked about vaccine priority.

No timetable has been established for when that next phase will begin, but Calvillo said on Thursday that Cleveland Police will be included in vaccination plans.

The Moderna vaccine is administered in two doses, 28 days apart.

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