The first vaccines available to some of New York City's first responders could be distributed in a matter of weeks, according to an internal FDNY memo obtained by NBC News.
The memo sent to EMTs, paramedics and firefighters says that vaccinations for COVID-19 "will potentially begin in mid-late December" pending FDA approval.
The memo, issued by Commissioner Daniel Nigro and the Chief of Department stresses that the vaccine either from Moderna or Pfizer will “NOT” be mandatory “but the Department recommends that members consider the overall health benefits.”
The FDNY, particularly the paramedics and EMTs, were particularly hard hit by the virus this spring with as many as 1 in 4 medics out sick during the height of the pandemic (so far) in NYC.
The Department also handled a record 6,500+ 911 calls for nearly a week as hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 exploded citywide.
In Nigro’s memo he promised that the FDNY will continue to get priority access to PPE in their function as essential healthcare workers — which includes the vaccine when and if approved.