International Association of EMS Chiefs Release Paper on COVID Vaccine Prioritization for EMS

EMS Chiefs
Image/International Association of Emergency Medical Services Chiefs

The International Association of Emergency Medical Services Chiefs call on elected and career leadership at the federal and state level to adopt the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) science-based recommendations that places EMS personnel in the first tier, 1A, of healthcare providers to be vaccinated for COVID 19. Elected officials need to issue the appropriate executive orders to guarantee that emergency medical services (EMS) is in the first vaccination cohort. EMS providers must receive the COVID vaccination during the initial phase (1a) location in order to sustain emergency medical care in local jurisdictions–especially as a nation we confront an exponential upward trajectory of current and projected cases.

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EMS personnel are essential to the health of the community, often as the provider of last resort and mobile emergency room. As of this date every 30 seconds one person in the United States dies from COVID 19. EMS has suffered disproportionately in regards to infections and deaths related to COVID-19. Quarantining and isolation of EMT’s and Paramedics due to COVID has hobbled overwhelmed EMS systems, placing the delivery of care in jeopardy. EMS is essential to homeland, national, and health security as a constituent and a stakeholder. Without implementation of medical counter- measures to protect the EMS workforce the system is in peril of collapse–which will concurrently create a series of cascading failures across the health and medical ecosystem.

The complexity and operational volumes from the COVID-19 pandemic has overwhelmed the U.S. EMS system. The use of medical countermeasures to protect our workforce, in this case a vaccine, is critical to the sustainment of homeland security and the EMS system. We applaud the fact that ACIP has recognized EMS as a discipline not as an agency or service delivery model.

The IAEMSC position concludes that federal and state elected leadership must issue the appropriate executive orders to guarantee that EMS is in the first group of providers who must receive COVID vaccinations. This is essential to preserve the integrity of the health care system, national and homeland security as a whole.

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