Local first responders receive COVID-19 vaccines

Flower Mound Fire Chief Eric Greaser receives the COVID-19 vaccine, image courtesy of the Flower Mound Fire Department

On Monday, Denton County Public Health employees began vaccinating emergency medical service providers and home healthcare workers.

Eligible pre-registered staff from local fire departments and home health agencies received their first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine during DCPH’s first drive-thru vaccine clinic in Denton, and from the Flower Mound Fire Department, which is an approved vaccine provider and is also administering the vaccine to many Denton County first responders.

Among the first recipients were Flower Mound Fire Chief Eric Greaser and Denton County ESD No. 1 Chief Mac Hohenberger, Assistant Chief Michael Lugo, Division Chief Cody Miller, and 16 other personnel. More ESD paramedics and firefighters will receive the vaccine Tuesday.

“We are excited about the vaccine’s arrival in Denton County as we continue to work on the first tier of vaccinations for our health care workers,” said Denton County Judge Andy Eads. “We are following state guidelines to ensure vaccines received by the county go to fill in the gaps for those on the front lines, as well as our most vulnerable populations at long-term care facilities. We will continue to follow those guidelines as we receive additional vaccines and look forward to the day when every Denton County community member can easily find a vaccine provider for themselves.”

As additional vaccine doses become available, DCPH will coordinate with EMS and home health agencies, as well as other phase 1A organizations, to pre-register and schedule health care workers for vaccination, according to a DCPH news release.

Community members who are healthcare workers are encouraged to contact their employer for vaccination distribution. All others are encouraged to contact their healthcare provider or pharmacy to determine if they are enrolled to give the vaccine.

“As the vaccine begins to arrive in our communities, we must continue to practice personal responsibility with mask wearing, handwashing, and social distancing,” said Dr. Matt Richardson, Director of DCPH.  “While hope has arrived with the vaccine, COVID-19 remains highly infectious and our hospitals are currently strained with a large number of COVID-19 patients. Doing our part now, while we wait for our opportunity to get vaccinated, helps relieve that stress on our hospital systems and lower the number of new infections in Denton County.”

To minimize spread of COVID-19, DCPH urges all community members to:

  • Maintain at least six feet of physical distance in public settings and when around individuals outside of the household
  • Wear masks or face coverings, which should cover both the nose and mouth, in public settings and when around individuals outside of the household
  • Wash and/or sanitize hands frequently
  • Stay home if you are symptomatic, have recently had close contact with a person with COVID-19, or have pending COVID-19 lab results

For additional COVID-19 data including active case information by municipality, hospital capacity, and ventilator utilization, visit dentoncounty.gov/COVIDstats. For information regarding DCPH’s upcoming testing centers, visit dentoncounty.gov/COVID19testing. For additional COVID-19 health and safety recommendations, visit dentoncounty.gov/COVID19.

Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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