JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – The first phase of COVID-19 vaccine distributions got underway Tuesday at the Northeast Regional Health Office in Johnson City.
First responders from Johnson City, Jonesborough, and Washington County received the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in front of the media.
One of those first responders who received the first vaccines from the Northeast Tennessee Regional Health Department was Sergeant Josh Morgan of the Johnson City Police Department.
“Just like everybody else, we have to role with the punches sometimes. Sometimes that does put police, firefighters, EMS at more of a risk, but this vaccine is important because it does give us peace of mind. We’re still going to practice social distancing and wear masks, but it is nice to have that in the back of your head,” Sgt. Morgan said.
Getting the vaccine on-camera, according to Sgt. Morgan, is setting an example for the rest of the community to get their vaccinations when it becomes available to them.
“It’s important to me to lead by example, I feel like that’s what we’re doing. I feel it’s important for first responders to step up and do this to help the community that we’re meant to serve,” he said.
He told News Channel 11’s Bianca Marais that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected first responders especially.
“Just like everyone else, it’s affected us greatly. We’re members of the community, we’re out there just like everybody else, so it’s caused us to alter our day-to-day operations just like most of America,” Sgt. Morgan said.
Morgan said he wants to encourage everyone to get a vaccine, adding that it’s not that bad.
“I feel fine. It was quick and painless. I felt less for that than I did for the flu shot this year,” he said.
Health officials said there are enough Moderna COVID-19 vaccines available at the regional health department for all first responders in the 7-county region to get at least their first dose.
News Channel 11’s Bianca Marais was told that vaccination clinics will continue in a drive-thru format at locations across Northeast Tennessee for health care workers and first responders to be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine before the end of the year.
You can watch a live stream of the news briefing and the vaccine administration on our WJHL Facebook page below.