VERNON TWP., Ohio (WKBN) – Coronavirus vaccinations are rolling out throughout the country, including locally. Right now, the distribution is still in the first phase, which includes first responders.
The Burghill Vernon Fire Department has gotten its first shipment of doses for first responders and will start administering them Tuesday morning.
The vaccine is not yet available for the general public.
John Bizub is a firefighter with the Eagle Joint Fire District, one of the first departments in Trumbull County to get the Moderna vaccine.
“The biggest fear of most first responders is contracting it and passing it on to their family, and if this stops that, I think it’s a good thing,” Bizub said.
Burghill Vernon Fire Department Chief George Snyder said they received 150 doses Monday.
The fire department will be the primary agency in Trumbull County to deliver the vaccine. In order to do that, it needed to make sure everything was in place, including proper storage, and people were trained on how to handle the shot.
“In there, it is minus 13 degrees – 5 degrees above zero,” Snyder said. “If it goes outside of those ranges then it is going to alarm, and we have to make sure that nothing happened with the vaccine.”
Snyder started out Monday by thawing out 50 doses. He moved more vaccines from the freezer to the refrigerator throughout the day.
“When it’s in the frozen state, the vaccine itself is good for six months. Once we remove it from there and put it in the refrigerator, that reduces the time to 30 days,” he said.
Each vile supplies ten shots. Everyone helping administer the vaccine is either a paramedic or registered nurse and went through what’s called “Just in Time” training.
“So, it’s really not a matter of teaching them how to do the injection, it’s a matter of teaching them how to handle the Moderna vaccine,” Snyder said.
Snyder says the department had been preparing for this day of training and administering the vaccine for months.
Stephen Kisak is a firefighter from Champion. He’s proud to stand by his fellow first responders, giving them their first dose of the vaccine.
“When all is said and done, I hope that we look back on this moment in Trumbull County and we’re proud of the work we put in to this,” Kisak said.