Jacksonville first responders receive first round of COVID-19 Moderna vaccine

Jacksonville first responders receive first round of COVID-19 Moderna vaccine

JACKSONVILLE, Texas (KTRE) - Jacksonville first responders received the first round of COVID-19 vaccinations at CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Hospital, saying it’s the first step to mitigate the spread of the virus.

“This was what we have been waiting for. It is important to show the community that we believe in the vaccine and that the vaccine is safe,” said Bill Avera, the police chief for Jacksonville ISD.

It has been ten months since we first learned of COVID-19, and Avera says he is excited to have received the Moderna vaccine.

“As first responders, we are dealing with COVID-19 patients just about every day. I think it is important to set the example for my employees and other people in the community to go ahead, get immunized and let’s get this behind us,” said Joe Williams, Jacksonville Police Chief.

Cherokee County Sheriff Brent Dickson says the vaccination process was simple. You fill out a few consent forms, get the shot, and good to go.

“I am hoping our community steps up and takes the vaccine. That way we can start moving back to some sort of normalcy. I am encouraging my officers to come take it, although it is not mandatory,” said Dickson. “That way we do not end up sick and we can spend time with our family and friends. And we can get out to serve and protect our community and not worry about getting them sick.”

The first responders who received vaccines today will need to get their second shot in 28 days.

“We will probably administer all the vaccines that we have available to us this week or early next week,” said Barry Lofquist, the administrator for CHRISTUS Health in Jacksonville.

They anticipate a surge after the holidays.

“We are certainly looking forward to the day that we can get our schoolteachers and other school employees inoculated. We have petitioned the governor and the Department of State Health Services to move them up into tier one C or tier D when that comes out,” Avera added.

About 20 Jacksonville first responders have been tested so far this week.

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