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90% of Williamsburg Fire Department gets first dose of COVID-19 vaccine

Four volunteers and 41 employees opted-in to get the first round of the Moderna vaccine. They'll get the second dose in four weeks.

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. — By Tuesday, 90% of the Williamsburg Fire Department's staff had gotten the first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

That's four volunteers and 41 employees who opted-in to get the vaccine. They'll get the second dose in four weeks.

A release from the city said the option was on the table for any fire department personnel trained as paramedics or EMTs. They come into contact with people who have severe cases of COVID-19, and call an ambulance for help.

The city had a vaccine clinic for emergency medics on Jan. 2 at Riverside Doctor's Hospital.

Brad Beam, the EMS Battalion Chief and Williamsburg's infectious disease control officer, was one of the people vaccinated.

“This is an exciting time for our EMS personnel," he said. "These men and women have been on the front lines for the past 43 weeks responding to medical calls while knowing they are at an increased risk of encountering patients with COVID-19.” 

The city's release said the Riverside Health System would continue to vaccinate EMTs and paramedics on the peninsula, before moving on to the next phases of distribution.

Author's note: an earlier version of this story said the vaccine recipients would get their second dose in two weeks. It will be four weeks from the first dose.