Warning that COVID-19 infections among firefighters are on the rise, the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts group slammed state leaders on Tuesday for failing to outline a clearer vaccination plan for first responders.
The association representing more than 12,000 union firefighters argued in a Twitter thread that Massachusetts has "no viable plan to vaccinate your local firefighters," adding that nearly 350 firefighters tested positive for the virus in December alone.
First responders are included in the first phase of the Baker administration's vaccine rollout plan, but the PFFM said the approach is too fragmented.
"The Department of Public Health has tasked local Boards of Health with first responder vaccination, and these local boards are structurally not prepared to execute this plan," the group wrote, noting that unlike other states, "Massachusetts still has not provided any dates, times, or vaccination locations." Since many members are EMTs or paramedics, they could administer vaccine doses to one another, PFFM argued.
A spokeswoman for the state COVID-19 Response Command Center said in a statement to the Associated Press that the state is working with local health departments, local hospitals and other medical providers to figure out the capacity to vaccinate people — and to identify sites where first responders can be vaccinated.
With reporting by State House News Service's Chris Lisinski and the Associated Press
This article was originally published on December 29, 2020.