Wellesley first responders rolled up their sleeves to receive the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, January 11.
Firefighters Brian Hester and Joanie Cullinan were chosen to get the first shots. Both have recently faced serious health challenges. Brian contracted COVID-19 in March 2020 and spent 10 weeks in the hospital; he is continuing to recover. Joanie is a Stage 3 Melanoma survivor and early cancer detection advocate who returned to work in September 2020 after more than 2 years of cancer treatments.
Both hope to be an example for the community to help reassure residents that the COVID-19 vaccine is safe, and encourage everyone to be vaccinated.
For Joanie and Brian, and everyone at the event, the vaccine is more than just a shot in the arm - it's a glimmer of hope after a very long 10 months.
Three other Wellesley firefighters and five Wellesley police officers were also vaccinated, with more set to receive shots later this week.
For this first round, Health officials received 100 doses of the Moderna vaccine and expect another allocation within a week to complete the first responder vaccinations.
Many residents are asking about the vaccine phases for ages 75+, high risk individuals, educators, and for the general public. At this time, Health officials do not have vaccination lists and there are no doses of the vaccine available yet for general public distribution.
The State is coordinating the COVID-19 vaccine distribution and provides up-to-date information on the Mass.gov website.
Firefighter Brian Hester receives the first COVID-19 vaccine.
Firefighter Joanie Cullinan is vaccinated.
Local media crews interview Fire Chief Rick DeLorie.
Health Department nurses Ashley Denton (left) and Heidi Harper (middle) with Joanie and Brian.