DALLAS - Dallas is laying the groundwork for the monumental task ahead for vaccinating first responders if it is awarded the vaccine in a matter of weeks.
Since firefighter and paramedics will be able to administer the vaccine, they will have the first option to receive it.
“This is monumental task. We have never attempted something like this in city, county, state, or country, said Dr. Marshal Isaacs, medical director for Dallas Fire-Rescue.
Dr. Isaacs gave Dallas City Council members the first look at the city's plans to get first responders vaccinated.
A file image shows a medical worker preparing a vaccine during a COVID-19 vaccine trial. (Photo by Adriana Adie/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
“Possible Operation Warp Speed will make vaccine available as soon as it authorizes emergency use in mid-December,” he said.
The city has applied to be a vaccine provider.
If and when the state awards Dallas doses, it will prioritize paramedics, firefighters, and police officers.
“We will be ready if and when we get vaccine to immunize city employees,” Dr. Isaacs added.
The city is in talks with the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center to use the facility as ground zero for storing and administering the vaccine.
Dr. Isaacs said the city will also need to work to educate the public about the safety of the vaccine.
“I want to tell the public that we would not be giving it to first responders if we did not think it was safe. When I am eligible, and family is eligible, we will be getting it,” Dallas City Councilwoman Jennifer Staubach-Gates said.
Dr. Isaacs said the city could receive the first allotment of the vaccine in weeks.
“The logistics of getting just first responders, city employees, and 1.4 million residents of Dallas vaccinated, the logistics are incredibly complicated. But I can tell you this, I have great confidence in staff. We are going to step up and get this done,” he said.
Since the vaccine is being approved for emergency use, getting it cannot be mandatory.