December 22, 2020
Paramedics from 21 area communities served
Last week, Northwest Community Healthcare (NCH) began administering the first COVID-19 vaccines to frontline healthcare workers and nearly 700 local paramedics. The Pfizer vaccine being given to frontline healthcare workers as directed by the state, was approved by the FDA Friday, December 11 and distributed to Illinois hospitals by the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.
NCH President and CEO Stephen Scogna said, “It is absolutely our honor to ensure area paramedics are safely vaccinated against COVID-19. EMS workers give their all every day to assist our community, and they need to be protected against this virus and in turn protect the community and patients they serve.”
Paramedics from 21 agencies were welcomed to NCH for the first of their two-dose Pfizer vaccine over a three-day period last week. “These are the EMS agencies that are members of the Northwest Community Emergency Medical Services System (NWCEMSS) for which NCH is their resource hospital,” explained Brian Stennett, MPH, EMT-P, NCH Emergency Preparedness Manager.
“I didn’t hesitate to get the vaccine as soon as possible to protect myself, my family and the people we serve,” said Arlington Heights firefighter and paramedic Rob Losik. “As first responders, we have a duty to help people which is why it was awesome to see paramedics going through NCH’s doors to be among the first to get the vaccine.”
The agencies included: Arlington Heights Fire Department, A-TEC Ambulance, Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District, Barrington Fire Department, Bloomingdale Fire Protection District, Buffalo Grove Fire Department, Elite Ambulance, Elk Grove Fire Department, Elk Grove Township Fire Protection District, Fermilab Fire Department, Hoffman Estates Fire Department, Itasca Fire Department, Lake Zurich Fire Rescue Department, Lincolnshire-Riverwoods Fire Protection District, Mount Prospect Fire Department, Palatine Fire Department, Palatine Rural Fire Protection District, Prospect Heights Fire Protection District, Rolling Meadows Fire Department, Schaumburg Fire Department and Wood Dale Fire Department.
At this time, the FDA emergency use authorization of the COVID-19 vaccine is approved for healthcare workers and those in congregated living facilities only. It does not include the general public. Once we receive authorization for the general public, we will communicate that information and be prepared to vaccinate those members of our community.
For the latest COVID-19 information at NCH, visit nch.org.