Emergency Management Director and Fire Chief Timothy Grenno and the Whitman Board of Health are pleased to announce that the Town of Whitman has been selected by the state to host COVID-19 vaccination clinics for local first responders.
Whitman’s Fire Department is one of approximately 115 locations statewide approved to distribute vaccinations as part of phase one of the state's COVID-19 vaccination distribution plan. Vaccines are not expected to be available to the general public until April, at the earliest. For more information about the state's estimated vaccine distribution timeline, read below.
The clinics will begin the week of Jan. 11, at both the Whitman Fire and Police departments for Whitman Public Safety personnel.
The Town of Whitman also wishes to share the following information about the state's distribution plan for the vaccine over the coming months:
- Phase one of the state's vaccination distribution plan began in December 2020 and is estimated to continue into February. Phase one vaccinations are being provided to those in the following groups, in order of priority:
- Clinical and non-clinical health care workers giving direct and COVID-19 facing care.
- Long-term care facilities, rest homes, assisted living facilities.
- First responders including police, fire and emergency medical services. This includes interfacility transport workers, MedFlight staff, college and university campus police, and 911 dispatch employees.
- Congregate care settings, including corrections and shelters.
- Home-based health care workers.
- Health care workers providing non-COVID-19 facing care. This does not include those who do not come in contact with patients, however. For more information on the types of healthcare workers included in phase one, click here.
- Phase two of the state's vaccination distribution plan is anticipated to begin in February and continue into March. Phase two vaccinations will be provided to those in the following groups, in order of priority:
- Individuals with two or more co-morbid conditions, who are at a high risk for COVID-19 complications. To review conditions that may put an individual at an increased risk for COVID-19 complications, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website here.
- Professionals in the fields of early education, K-12, transit, grocery, utility, food and agriculture, sanitation, public works and public health.
- Adults age 65-years-old and older.
- Individuals with one co-morbid condition.
- Phase three of the state's vaccination distribution plan is anticipated to begin in April. At this time the vaccine will become available to the general public.
Whitman Fire Department Paramedics will serve as the primary vaccination department for Whitman residents. As the phased approach moves forward, more information will be released by the Fire Department for residents regarding, clinics, locations and tentative dates.
Chief Grenno strongly urges residents to speak with their primary care physicians regarding obtaining vaccinations, along with local pharmacies.
"The vaccine rollout is an enormous project and we ask residents to use common sense when the vaccine is available for their phase and go to one of several locations," Chief Grenno said. "The Town will continue to share the latest information regarding vaccines, but residents should also stay in close contact with their doctors and local pharmacies throughout the process."
"We are pleased to give back to our community in this very critical role," Whitman Firefighter Union President Scott Figgins said. "It means a great deal that our local first responders, who have done such tremendous work since the pandemic began, will be receiving the first doses of a vaccine soon. We also look forward to the day when our residents can obtain vaccines and we begin taking steps to return to a normal way of life."
For more information about COVID-19 prevention and symptoms, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website here and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health website here. Additional information regarding the Town of Whitman's response to COVID-19 can be found at: http://www.whitmancovid19.com