BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB)– The plan to vaccinate first responders against COVID-19 is moving ahead in Bay County.
Wednesday, EMS Lieutenant Erik Lowe rolled up his sleeve, and got his first vaccine of the series.
“It was very painless, simple and straight forward,” Lowe said.
Lowe was among the over 300 Bay County first responders who opted to get the vaccine. Lowe said he felt like it was a safe option considering that his job constantly exposes him to the virus.
“We’re here to protect the community, and this gives us the opportunity to be safer for our self, for our community, and for our family,” Lowe said.
As the months drag on in the pandemic, Lowe said it’s taken an emotional toll on many first responders.
“We’ve had periods where we see multiple cases a day, we’ve had periods where we haven’t, so it’s just been up and down this last year,” Lowe said.
Assistant EMS Chief Danny Page said the virus has also impacted their EMS teams.
“Not only do we see it in our patients, but our brothers and our sisters and co-workers are getting it,” Page said.
Page has been in charge of administering the vaccine to first responders, while he’s happy about its arrival, he said the community should not become lax on safety protocols.
“I’m not sure it’s the absolute answer for everything, but I definitely think it’s a great next step. I think we need to follow the guidelines set forth by medical professionals, including wearing a mask when you’re around other people and social distancing,” Page said.
Lowe is due to get his second round of the Moderna vaccine in the next 28 days.
“It’s definitely a step forward in the right direction,” Lowe said.