Pa. State Troopers Assoc. releases statement on decision to vaccinate smokers before troopers

Coronavirus in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania State Police

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — On Friday, the president of the Pennsylvania State Troopers Association, David Kennedy, released a statement regarding the Wolf Administration’s decision to include cigarette smokers in phase 1A before Pa. state troopers and other first responder personnel.

Two days ago, the Pa. Department of Health announced that new groups of Pennsylvanians would be included in phase 1A of the COVID vaccination plan for the Commonwealth.

Included in the new group was smokers and pregnant women. Along with these people, high-risk individuals are able to become immunized under the state’s plan, like healthcare workers, residents and staff at long-term care facilities, and people 65 years and older.

“I understand this decision comes at the recommendation of the CDC, but our commonwealth should reject this and place a higher priority on vaccinating first responders, who encounter COVID positive people every day,” Kennedy said. “The commonwealth should immediately reject this tone-deaf recommendation and vaccinate first responders so they can focus on doing their jobs.”

When referring to first responders in the Commonwealth, Kennedy noted that state troopers “willingly risk their lives” on the daily basis.

He also encouraged the new Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam to create a vaccination plan based on “common sense.”

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