NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — FDNY employees are among the first groups that will be offered the coronavirus vaccine after hospital workers, and nursing home patients and staff.
But will they actually take it? One union survey says the majority of firefighters may not, CBS2’s Lisa Rozner reported Sunday.
About a quarter of firefighters took the survey and 55% said they do not want to take the vaccine right now, while 45% do.
The firefighters union said more education is needed on the vaccine to encourage more members to take it, and it wants to know the plan for rollout sooner than later.
As CBS2 has been reporting, New York’s first 170,000 doses of the vaccine are coming Dec. 15, but union reps for the firefighters and EMS workers said they haven’t heard when the first doses will actually be available for their members.
Uniformed Firefighters Association President Andrew Ansbro told Rozner he will get the vaccine, but some feel they’d rather their dose goes to someone more vulnerable or feel they don’t need it because they have the antibodies.
“We can’t have this on 24-7, so there is going to be exposures. There is actually about six firehouses that are seeing upticks right now. In my mind, it’s not a lot, but it’s climbing and that’s the real issue. It’s climbing. We’ve gotta get ahead of this,” Ansbro said.
Anthony Almojera, the vice president of Uniformed EMS Officers Union Local 3621, which hasn’t done an official survey, believes most of his members will get the vaccine.
“The trepidation is in the efficacy of it, the logistics of it, is there any side effects of it,” Anthony Almojera said. “The feeling and the feedback I keep getting is the worry that it was rushed and my answer to them is, yeah, it had to be rushed. We’re in a pandemic, right?”
Dr. Bruce Y. Lee of the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health agrees more data needs to be released. He said of the latest press release from Pfizer:
“That really focused on the measured efficacy and didn’t indicate a significant side effect rate, but we also have to keep in mind that that was from the first few months of the trial,” Lee said.
Rozner did reach out to the FDNY for comment and was waiting to hear back.