Chatham Co. first responders receiving COVID-19 vaccine

Chatham Co. first responders receiving COVID-19 vaccine

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine began arriving in Georgia Monday.

Over 170,000 doses are being sent to providers across the state. Meanwhile, Georgia’s Department of Public Health is anticipating a second round of Pfizer’s vaccine.

Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is the first to get emergency approval from the FDA.

According to the Georgia’s Department of health, over 74,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine has been shipped to Georgia.

A total of 1,258 vaccines have been administered to healthcare workers and frontline workers.

Many counties began vaccinating firefighters and EMS Monday.

Health professionals with St. Joseph’s/Candler mixed the vaccine for the crews - even Santa.

Chief Chuck Kearns says his crews have been through a lot with the virus.

They have about 400 staff and at some point more than 100 of them were out for quarantine.

They have watched the pandemic play out on the frontline responding to homes, transporting to the hospital and more.

He says this day was one of hope, knowing we’re just nine months in and have this vaccine is great for them.

And while it’s not mandatory to get the vaccine, the chief hoped to set an example.

“We deal with this every single day and we know that this is a really good chance to protect ourselves and our loved ones. If we can go ahead and get the vaccine ourselves and then help it move through the rest of the community because we’re thinking about the citizens also who have to wait in line behind us,” said Chief Kearns.

And behind him were dozens of others who have put their lives on hold to serve the community, including Kathryn Gilmer.

She was emotional about getting her vaccine know how much it’s changed her life.

“So I sent my daughter to live with her dad in march because with us going in and out of COVID houses and us being in and out of like areas that were more dangerous I didn’t want to put her at risk so she’s been gone so this is a big thing. Little baby steps to be able to get more normal,” said Gilmer.

She’s excited this is the start of getting back to normal and says this will give them confidence as they continue to help the community through this pandemic.

While more than 50 were vaccinated Monday, first responders will have other events like this one in the future. Some even plant specifically for the western part of the county.

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