First responders in Swatara Township participating in aggressive vaccination campaign

Vaccinate PA

(AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Officials in Swatara Township partnered with UPMC to help get their first responders vaccinated.

Brenden Orth is the Chief of Health and Safety with Swatara Fire and Rescue. He reached out to them long before the vaccine rollout began.

“Once there was an approval of a vaccine, we knew it was important to take action,” Orth said. “We reached out to UMPC about a partnership, and they agreed that our first responders were critical to helping people and they may come in contact with residents who may have the disease.”

Orth says he is well aware of public perception that includes younger members of the police and fire departments getting the vaccination before older residents or people with health problems.

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“We know it’s a difficult situation for so many people,” Orth said. “But know getting our first responders vaccinated helps protect them and the public when they come in contact with each other.”

So far, 30 police officers and 38 firefighters, along with 40 emergency management members, have received the first or second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Orth says getting the vaccine is not mandatory and some have expressed concern that not enough information is available about its long-term safety.

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