Nearly 200 San Diego Fire-Rescue personnel have so far turned down a COVID-19 vaccine, showing reluctance as health officials scramble to protect frontline workers like firefighters from the highly infectious coronavirus.
As of Wednesday, 191 personnel had declined to take the vaccine; 895 had gotten the shot, according to department figures.
The vaccine is available to all of the department’s roughly 1,500 employees, including lifeguards and non-sworn staff, a spokeswoman said. The force includes 943 firefighters, who double as paramedics or emergency medical technicians, placing them on the front lines of the pandemic.
As of Wednesday, 99 firefighters had tested positive, according to the department.
Department spokeswoman Mónica Muñoz said the vaccination figures may not account for vaccines administered by employees’ health care providers, adding that the department is not privy to personal health information.