The first five first responders to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in the District have been identified — all five are members of D.C. Fire and EMS, and the department’s chief will be among them.
Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the group — appropriately named The First Five — on Sunday.
“Today, we have hope. After a long and tragic nine months, help is finally on the way. The First Five are sending a strong message about the importance of this vaccine to protect them, their families and loved ones, their patients and coworkers, and our entire city,” Bowser said.
DC Health is working with Kaiser Permanente to administer the vaccine to members of the D.C. fire department, and are expecting to deliver the first dose on Dec. 16.
D.C. Fire and EMS Chief John Donnelly and the department’s medical director, Dr. Robert Holman, will be among the first to be administered the vaccine.
Lieutenants Joseph Papariello and Keishea Jackson and firefighter/EMT Julio Quinteros are also set to receive the vaccine.
“My father is everything to me, he’s my world. And if I don’t get it for any other reason, I have to get it for my daddy. I have to make sure he’s safe,” Jackson said. “I’m getting vaccinated for my city. In the last nine months, I’ve seen COVID devastate my department. I’ve seen my brothers and sisters go into the hospital. I’ve seen them with severe symptoms – things we never thought we would see. I’m getting vaccinated for my coworkers, I’m getting vaccinated for my family, and I’m getting vaccinated to make a change.”
The department is receiving the Pfizer vaccine, which requires two doses. Both doses will be administered while the department members are on duty, according to the mayor’s office.
Bowser said she would wait to receive the vaccine so that it could go to first responders and frontline workers.