By Christina Hager

WALPOLE (CBS) – “I’m a little nervous, believe it or not,” said Walpole Police Chief John Carmichael before he got the COVID-19 vaccine Monday. He just recovered from the illness last month. “I wasn’t really worried at all, and then reality struck on that Saturday morning when I had the aches and pains and then by Sunday, I’ve never been so sick in my life,” he said.

After months of entering countless homes during the pandemic, often in close contact with strangers, police officers, firefighters, and EMS workers from across Massachusetts finally got their shot at immunization. “We’re really worried about bringing something home to our loved ones, and to our parents and so forth,” said Needham Police Chief John Schlittler.

CHECK: COVID-19 Vaccine Locations for First Responders

In Lawrence, acting Fire Chief Robert Wilson says he brought it home to his wife before Thanksgiving. “Some of the symptoms are quite severe,” he said. The peace of mind is worth any nervous jitters the small stick of a needle might cause, he said.

Back in Walpole, the shot was over before Chief Carmichael even realized. “That was it?”

He said about 90% of his police force opted to get the shots. “I feel great, and I’m really excited about our officers that are going to be getting it because it’s been a long year,” Carmichael said.

Christina Hager