Updated: December 28, 2020 05:54 PM
Created: December 28, 2020 02:16 PM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — COVID-19 vaccinations for EMS workers started Monday and with them being on the frontlines to calls and dangerous scenes they tell News10NBC it's a sigh of relief to finally get the shot.
“We’re going into these homes, we're going into doctors officers where everybody is super sick and it's reassuring to know that now we're getting this vaccine,” Brighton Volunteer Ambulance Assistant Chief and Paramedic Shawna Rizzi said.
Rizzi said her team is excited to be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine after rushing a long year putting themselves at danger and risk.
“Going into these people's homes and the stress of it for nine to 10 months now you know it's wearing on us," Rizzi said. "We're tired right now the majority of our patients are covid patients or COVID symptoms."
Rizzi has actually been a part of the University of Rochester's vaccine study and got her second shot Monday.
She said her mom is high-risk and it's been a constant worry being near family. She said she thinks she got the real shot the first time around because she did experience mild symptoms.
“Fever and chills, a little bit of stomach ache, headache and lethargy,” Rizzi said. “I believe 60% of people can have a mild reaction to the vaccine but it was gone within 24 hours."
She said for her department it's not mandatory but about 60-70% are scheduled to get it.
EMT Hardy Schulz got his first shot today at the Monroe County Fleet Center.
“They were really organized and had everything structured and all the people there,” Hardy said.
Both he and Rizzi said they are hopeful this pandemic can get under control so they can continue to do their jobs responding to scenes and protecting others without getting sick.
“Since we can't social distance in the back of the ambulance with our patients because we have to do interventions and be close to our protection even though we were protection we have to have that added protection by having the vaccine,” Schulz said.
EMS workers will continue to get vaccinated throughout the next couple of weeks. Along with EMS workers, urgent care, other health care workers, coroners and medical examiners will be able to get their vaccines soon.
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