Front line paramedics with Williamson County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) are receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Williamson County EMS field staff, who are among the first to respond to emergency calls in our community, have two different entities they can count on to get vaccinated. Williamson County partnered with Family Hospital Systems to vaccinate the County’s EMS personnel in order to protect them from getting infected with the virus while providing essential life-saving services for county residents. In addition, the Williamson County and Cities Health District also is conducting vaccinations for people currently eligible to receive it.
“I am grateful to Operation Warp Speed for expediting the COVID-19 vaccination process and giving us all hope from the devastation of this virus,” said County Judge Bill Gravell. “I am grateful for Family Hospital Systems and their willingness to work during the holidays to administer the vaccine to our eligible employees. When the vaccine is available for me, I plan to get the COVID-19 vaccine and encourage others to take it.”
While getting the vaccine is encouraged for all field staff, especially those with underlying conditions, it is a voluntary decision that will be made by each individual.
“We are so excited that this day has arrived. This is an important part of helping keep our caregivers safe, and we are blessed to be one of the first to receive the vaccine,” said Williamson County EMS Director Mike Knipstein. “We would like for everyone to consider getting the vaccine when it is available.”
Public health officials state that the vaccine is safe and provides an extra layer of protection from COVID-19; however, the vaccine should be treated as just another tool in the toolbox for combatting the virus. The vaccine is not the sole safety measure that will prevent a person from getting COVID-19. The public is strongly encouraged to continue to practice personal responsibility measures to prevent the spread of the virus. Those measures include following the three W’s:
· WEAR a mask. People should wear a face covering over their mouth and nose.
· WATCH your distance. Keep six feet of distance from people outside your household.
· WASH your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds.
For more information on COVID-19 vaccines, please visit https://www.dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/immunize/vaccine.aspx.