Ellis County first responders get the COVID-19 vaccine

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Firefighters, paramedics, police officers and sheriff's deputies from Ellis County are receiving doses of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine from the Methodist Health System. Ellis County had received 1,600 vaccine doses, but those were distributed to people in Group 1-A - including front-line healthcare workers who deal with patients and residents of long-term care facilities.

Methodist Healthcare System stepped in to offer the vaccine to offer Ellis County first responders an additional layer of protection against the virus. Many of them have already taken advantage of the opportunity to receive the first dose of the vaccine at Methodist Dallas Medical Center.

"There are a great deal of COVID events down in Midlothain. Ellis County has seen a spike just like the rest of the country and the Metroplex," said Midlothian Police Chief Carl Smith. "It certainly adds a layer of protection for us."

Smith is confident the vaccine is safe for himself and the members of his department. "I have a daughter that's an RN in an emergency center here in the DFW area," he said. "She has already had her shots and is doing well."

Lt. Shane Thompson of the Ellis County Sheriff's Department also got the first dose of the vaccine this week. He says even though police officers and sheriff's deputies are not medical personnel, their jobs can put them into contact with COVID-19 patients. "It's nice to have the peace of mind…knowing that if we show up on a scene or an incident...that we're vaccinated," he said, "because not all the time do we even know if the person has been affected by COVID or not."