Breaking: Tough Choices Ahead For First Responder Vaccinations

Earlier this week First State Update was the first to tell you that Delaware first reponders would not be receiving the Covid-19 vaccine as expected.

On Tuesday we obtained a letter sent to first responder agencies across the state. The letter, sent from the Office of Emergency Medical Service (OEMS), warned those agencies that the second Covid-19 injections that they were expecting would be delayed.

The letter confirmed that OEMS was unable to schedule the second dose until the warehouse vaccine supply allowed them to do so. OEMS told the agencies that they have paused all previously scheduled second vaccine dose dates until further notice.  The agencies were told they would receive a revised schedule for second vaccine doses as soon as possible.

First State Update has now obtained a follow-up letter sent to those agencies this afternoon, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021.

In the follow-up letter OEMS warns that they are faced with very difficult decisions about the most effective use of the doses they have on hand.  OEMS goes onto say that the science shows that the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine provides 52% to 80% protection, adding that concentrating on first doses is critical to reducing hospitalizations and deaths.

OEMS opinion is that they need to get Phase 1A high-risk health care workers their second doses as soon as possible. The reasons given are that they have frequent contact with COVID patients and have less of an ability to social distance due to their job.  The letter goes on to explain that OEMS will have an extremely difficult balance until they get an adequate supply of the vaccine.

OEMS ends the letter by telling the agencies that they are working out a plan to get a second dose for those 1st responders that met the initial criteria of being active in the Delaware Emergency Medical Reporting System (DEMRS). Those individuals will receive the vaccine first, according to the letter.

This is a developing story.

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First State Update's Delaware editorial team covers New Castle County, Kent County and Sussex County breaking news, political news, and general news stories. We bring the reader the latest news from the Wilmington, Newark, Dover, Rehoboth Beach and all point in between. If you have news to share, email us at [email protected].

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