NEW CASTLE, Del. (CBS) — The Delaware Fire Commission worries that nearly 3,500 firefighters and EMTs who received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine may have to go through the whole process again. It turns out that the state doesn’t have enough doses for the second round of shots.
Firefighters at Christiana Fire Company have been on the front lines since the pandemic started.READ MORE: 'A Game Changer': CDC Recommends Johnson & Johnson's 1-Dose COVID Vaccine, Paving Way For Distribution To Begin
“Just doing the quick math, it’s a minimum of 20,000 interactions with people a year,” said Assistant Chief of the Christiana Fire Company Dennis Godek.
Twenty-seven of 80 staff have tested positive and another 70 quarantined at some point.
“It has impacted us significantly,” said Godek.
Firefighters were supposed to get their second dose of the vaccine on Tuesday but found out through an email that it was being delayed. It’s not clear if or even when the second dose will be rescheduled.
In a statement to CBS3, the Delaware Department of Health cited limited supply, saying they’ve “temporarily paused scheduling second dose first responder vaccination events. The science shows that the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine provides 52% to 80% protection, so concentrating on first doses is critical to reducing hospitalizations and deaths.”
Although the Biden Administration says more doses are coming, time may be running out.READ MORE: Irv Cross, Former Eagles Star DB And Pioneer Black Analyst, Dies At 81
“With the Moderna vaccine, which is what most of us got, it was 28 days,” Godek said.
Twenty-eight days between shots — that was the initial window given, but the CDC is now saying 45 days is acceptable.
“If that’s now what they are telling us then we really don’t have an alternative,” said Godek.
CBS3’s Alicia Roberts reports.
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