Hennepin County Begins COVID-19 Vaccinations for First Responders, Brooklyn Park Fire Chief Gets Vaccine
First responders who provide emergency medical services began receiving the COVID-19 vaccine this week. Among those who received the Moderna vaccine is Brooklyn Park Fire Chief John Cunningham.
“I felt great this morning,” Cunningham said about the dose he received on Tuesday. “I felt a little tired last night, went to bed at 7:30 at night and had a great sleep. My arms still pretty sore, but other than that I feel pretty good.”
Cunningham has to get a second dose in about a month. He said while the vaccine isn’t mandatory for first responders, many Brooklyn Park firefighters plan on getting it. Earlier this month, Cunningham was part of an effort to get first responders to be among the first in line to get vaccinated.
“They’re out in the streets everyday responding to medical calls to people in distress. It’s such an uncontrollable setting that our first responders face in our field,” said Cunningham. “To begin that medical treatment, I want to make sure we keep our first responders safe but also those that we’re treating safe as well.”
The fire chief also said he would never ask his staff to get vaccinated if he wasn’t willing to himself.
“That means rolling up my sleeves, sitting down and having one of the wonderful nurses from Hennepin County give me the shot,” said Cunningham.
According to MDH, at least 44,000 people have received the COVID-19 vaccine. Nearly 300,000 doses have been delivered to registered provider sites.
The next group of people in line for the vaccine, or Phase 1b, will be front-line essential workers and adults 75 years and older. Those vaccinations are expected to begin in February.