ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- They’re often the first of the frontline workers to deal with a COVID-19 patient but paramedics have been towards the bottom of category 1A when it comes to receiving their vaccine.
“It couldn’t have happened too soon,” said Nick Harper, the deputy chief at Monarch Fire in West County. “We’ve been dealing with this for a long time, I want to make sure our folks are protected.”
Several of their paramedics received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at Mercy Hospital Wednesday.
For Maryland Heights Fire Department that call came this week that their paramedics would be eligible thanks to the hospital systems.
“They realized that the first responders were kind of being left behind as far as health care workers go and we’re technically the first front line responders to somebody that’s ill,” said Mark Russell, the chief medical officer for Maryland Heights Fire.
He rolled up his sleeve along with several other paramedics at SSM Depaul.
A spokesperson for SSM Health says they will be vaccinating 43 fire departments over the next several days, many receiving the vaccine this weekend.
The hospital systems are working quickly to get through 1A vaccinations.