SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – As Illinois health officials prepare for public rollout of the coronavirus vaccine, state Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville, is calling for the inclusion of police officers among other frontline first responders in the next phase of distribution.
“Along with firefighters and paramedics, police officers are on the front lines of this crisis, working to keep our families safe,” said Stuart. “To ensure they don’t bring COVID home to their own loved ones, it’s important that law enforcement be able to get the vaccine sooner rather than later.”
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has authorized firefighters and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) to be vaccinated in Phase 1B of Illinois’ vaccination plan. Stuart is calling for law enforcement officers to be included as well.
“I am deeply appreciative of Rep. Stuart’s advocacy to keep our local police officers safe and healthy,” said Granite City Police Lieutenant Mike Parkinson. “Our work to serve the community does not stop during a pandemic, so protection against contracting and spreading COVID is critical to our ability to do our job.”
“Due to the nature of their job, police officers can’t always social distance, or take other precautions to protect themselves and the people they’re assisting from COVID-19,” said Stuart. “We owe it to all of our first responders to offer them every tool necessary to reduce their risk of infection during this public health emergency.”