‘For us as firemen, we have to be able to breathe’: HFD receives 3,000 doses of Moderna vaccine

HOUSTON – Houston firefighters have received 3,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine Monday. Leaders with the department hope that the vaccinations will be rolled out as soon as next week.

In late December, Houston firefighters have been working with hospitals like Houston Methodist and St. Luke’s to receive the Covid-19 Pfizer vaccine. Now, firefighters will have other options as the department works to roll out the 3,000 Moderna vaccines received on Monday.

Many firefighters like Sr. Captain Joshua Vogel have been working long hours.

“I love my job. I appreciate all of the wonderful citizens who give us the opportunity to serve them ... and I would like to do this for another 20 more years,” Vogel said.

Despite the risks, firefighters answer the call.

“Currently we have 192 firefighters that are in quarantine for coronavirus,” Houston Fire Chief Sam Pena said. “We’ve had 465 firefighters test positive for Coronavirus, and sadly we’ve had 3 fatalities, and just today we were informed that we have another firefighter in the emergency room.”

Chief Pena hopes to give the entire department the option to be vaccinated by the end of January.

“It affects the respiratory system, so for us as firemen, we have to be able to breathe. So this has been a really tough time for us,” Vogel said.