Middletown begins to administer COVID-19 vaccines to first responders

Coronavirus

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WTNH)– Police officers and firefighters in Middletown could soon be safer on the job. The first responders are now being vaccinated for COVID-19.

Jared Ceccolini is one of the first Middletown Police officers to get vaccinated for COVID-19. He has three kids under three years old at home. 

“Two 5 month olds so I don’t want to…  you try to be as careful as possible but as a police officer first responder, you know there’s a chance you bring something home to them,” said Ceccolini.

The Community Health Center in Middletown began giving vaccines to first responders Tuesday.

“They’re in homes. They are taking care of people. They’re responding to all kinds of situations that put them at risk,” said Gary Wallace, the Director of Community Engagement and Relations for the Community Health Center. He just retired from the Middletown Police Department in September.

The Community Health Center got 3,400 vaccines last Wednesday.

“The day before Christmas Eve we got the best gift ever which was we were able to vaccinate our employees who are on the frontline of delivering healthcare,” said Yvette Highsmith Francis, V.P. East Region for Community Health Center.

From frontline workers to now first responders.

“You never know whose house you’re walking into or who you’re having interaction with so hopefully most people get this vaccine and you can feel a little bit safer,” said Middletown police officer Jeffrey Scoppetto, who was vaccinated Tuesday.

The city itself received 500 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on Monday.

“It’s a glimmer of hope,” said Middletown Health Director Kevin Elak.

The city will begin administering the vaccine to first responders on Wednesday. It plans to go to each of the city fire departments to set up the vaccination clinics. 

It won’t vaccinate all of the first responders at each of the fire houses at once just in case there are any symptoms or side effects. It’ll vaccinate forty firefighters a day for the next seven days.

“Which then we will have all of our firefighters vaccinated and then from there we’ll move on to our school nurses,” explained Kevin Elak, Middletown Director of Health.

They’ll also work with Cromwell and Durham to vaccinate their first responders.

“We need them,” said Highsmith Francis. “We need them healthy and well.” 

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