While Broome County has announced Willow Point Nursing Home staff and residents are being vaccinated a third at a time, word comes out that COVID-19 vaccines are also going out to some first responders.

Binghamton Mayor Richard David says the first round of vaccinations for members of the City Fire Department began January 4. More than a dozen Binghamton Firefighters got their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine with more shots being given this week.

Bob Joseph/WNBF News

In an announcement from City Hall, officials say the next phases to include the Police Department and other essential workers will be coordinated with New York State and United Health Services.

Health officials say in many cases the doses are being spread out among essential workers in increments to lessen the impact on essential departments should any of the workers getting the vaccine suffer any side effects.

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Governor Andrew Cuomo January 4 announced eligibility for the vaccine was expanded to include all outpatient/ambulatory front-line, high-risk health care workers who provide direct in-person patient care.  Eligibility this week is also being expanded to include home health care workers, hospice workers and nursing home and other congregate setting workers who have yet to receive a vaccine through the federal nursing home program. The Governor says in the future, he expects the state will establish drive-throughs for public distribution and will use public facilities like community and convention centers and other areas that serve poorer and rural communities that may not have pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens that have agreed to partner with the state to give the shots when they are cleared for the lower tiers.

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