BOSTON (CBS) – On Monday, Governor Charlie Baker and his team outlined the plan to vaccinate first responders against COVID-19 in Massachusetts. First responders are the next priority group in “Phase 1” of vaccine distribution.
According to the administration, first responders — which include roughly 45,000 police, fire, and EMTs — will have access to the COVID-19 vaccine in three different ways.
1. Starting January 11, first responders will have the option of getting vaccinated at their places of work, if their departments apply to receive vaccine doses through the state.
2. Starting January 11, first responders can get vaccinated at more than 60 sites being set up by state and local Boards of Health all over Massachusetts — ranging from police stations to schools.
3. Starting January 18, first responders can get their shot at mass vaccination sites, which so far include Gillette Stadium, Fenway Park, and the Big E, according to the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts President.
“We’re hopeful of this plan,” PFFM President Rich MacKinnon said. “It’s a lot further along than we were last week at this time.”
Governor Baker did not confirm the locations of mass vaccination sites, but MacKinnon said they were discussed in a meeting between the administration and hundreds of first responders. As for the vaccination options, he says he feels his 12,000 union members would likely go for the first. “I can definitely say that our members would feel more comfortable being vaccinated by someone that they work with every day,” he said.
MacKinnon said he’s confident his union’s persistence about developing a plan for first responders contributed to this announcement by the state. “The outreach, the communications, and our advocacy and assertiveness that we put forth by the PFFM absolutely had an influence on establishing a plan, being part of the plan, and you know – that’s the power of the union,” he said.