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Many Anne Arundel First Responders Not Keen on COVID Vaccine

| March 22, 2021, 06:07 PM

Many of the first responders in Anne Arundel County are hesitant to get the COVID vaccine. Several weeks ago, Eye On Annapolis asked the Health Department for the number of first responders (police and fire) who were elgible for the vaccine and the number who actually received it.  After a bit of a delay, they punted the question to the police and fire departments.

So, we went to the fire department and found that they do not have actual numbers and according to the fire department, tracking the vaccines has been “pretty problematic;” but they did poll their eligible employees (approximately 1500) on January 27th and received 869 responses. Of those responses, 26% declined the vaccine with the most common reasons for declining being “worried about side effects” and “not enough infomation about Pfizer and Moderna”.

On the police side, the numbers were a bit more vague. According to the Anne Arundel County Police, 77% of the sworn (770) and civilian (200) employees have reported that they had recevied the vaccine. And in a prior poll of sworn officers, 68% indicated that they wanted to receive the vaccine, leaving 32% likely opting out.

Based on these numbers, roughly 25% of Anne Arundel County’s first responders have declined or have said they would decline the vaccine.

This percentage is higher than the general population revealed in the latest AACC poll on local issues which indicated that 19% of respondents woudl not take the vaccine. But Anne Arundel County falls considerably short of the 55% of New York City Firefighters who said they’d decline the vaccine. And the percentage of front-line health care workers who are hesitatnt or refusing the vaccine is higher still according to the Washington Post and a Kaiser Family Foundation poll. In fact, hesitancy among first responders nationwide is prevalent.

According to President Biden’s COVID Task Force leader, Dr. Anthony Fauci, it will take 75% to 80% of the population to be vaccinated to achieve the herd immunity and beat the pandemic.

The County can legally require a vaccination as a condition of employment for some or all employees with some exceptions–notably a religious exemption and a medical contraindication. However, according to the County Executive’s office, this is not something that the County requires, but they are aware of the issue and are working on a solution.

Severn Bank

 

Category: COVID, Local News, NEWS, Post To FB

About the Author - John Frenaye

John is the publisher and editor of Eye On Annapolis. As a resident and business owner in Anne Arundel County for nearly 25 years, he realized that there was something missing in terms of community news–and Eye On Annapolis was born in late spring 2009.

John’s background is in the travel industry as a business owner, industry speaker, and travel writer. In terms of blogging and social media, he cut his teeth with MSNBC.com.

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