TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - Tuscaloosa Fire Rescue Chief Randy Smith explained how coronavirus vaccinations within the fire department are going and said work is underway to vaccinate other first responders working for city.
“With the vaccinations coming out, we’re in the process of vaccinating in the Fire Department,” Smith said.
As of Tuesday morning, at least 30 people in the department had been vaccinated for COVID-19.
“We have a lot of people in the department that are cautious; that wanted to wait a little bit of time. But they’re coming around and they’re starting to do it,” Smith added.
Members of Tuscaloosa Incident Command, along with fire fighters and police are city employees and eligible to be vaccinated right now as first responders.
Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox mentioned several times in December that a majority of city employees surveyed about getting vaccinated did not want to do it. Smith feels as more of them see vaccination shots are safe, they will decide to get vaccinated. He said side effects for fire fighters have not been serious.
“We’ve only had a report within the fire department of four personnel having very mild side effects, fatigue. One person had a low-grade fever, less than a 100 in 24 hours. And then two others reported pain at the injection site. Those have been the only side effects. No one has missed work because of it,” Smith continued.
The city of Tuscaloosa is not mandating that employees must be vaccinated for coronavirus. Smith said they’re in the process trying to schedule vaccinations for members of the Tuscaloosa Police Department.