Scranton first responders receive Moderna vaccine

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SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — First responders in Lackawanna County will have an extra protection against the coronavirus.

Some Scranton police officers and city firefighters received their second dose of the vaccine this morning. In all, around 60 first responders got vaccinated today.

With his sleeve rolled up and a pinch of the skin, Scranton Police Chief Leonard Namiotka received his second dose of the Moderna vaccine.

“It’s just a good thing now and I’m just relieved now that I have the second dose, so it is much more effective against fighting this virus,” Chief Namiotka said.

Namiotka and officers from his department got their final dose at Scranton Primary Healthcare Center.

Chief Namiotka said he understands first responders fall under Phase 1B under the state’s guidelines.

“Unfortunately, it did put us ahead of people but being first line officers out there, it puts us at ease. That we can do our jobs more efficiently, more effectively.”

In December, the state department of health reached out to the center asking if they can vaccinate first responders.

“We requested permission to do both police and fire. They were willing to grant us that authorization so we could take care of those people who take care us,” said Joseph Hollander, CEO of Scranton Primary Healthcare Center.

Hollander says the state set aside second doses to be administered Tuesday.

“We’re ramping up vaccines in this country. The Biden Administration has just pushed the number up from one million a day to one point five million a day,” explained Matt Cartwright, (D) PA 8th District.

Congressman Cartwright said some of the city’s first responders were being vaccinated for the final time.

“I feel good that by the end of this summer we’re going to have 200 million Americans vaccinated. We’re going to get past this.”

The center will vaccinate more Scranton first responders next week, to reach the nearly 200 that were vaccinated back in December.

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