Local law enforcement receiving first dose of COVID-19 vaccinations

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCBD) – First responders are now receiving COVID-19 vaccinations in South Carolina.

Nearly 85% of officers with the Summerville Police Department have received their first dose of the vaccine.

“I think we owe it to our community to be able to serve and protect them and the only way we’re gonna be able to do that is if we get the vaccination ourselves,” said Lt. Chris Hirsch with the Summerville Police Department. “So, the Summerville Police Department, while it’s not mandated at this point- many of our officers are stepping up and are getting vaccinated on their own.”

Lt. Hirsch received his vaccination on Wednesday.

“I got the vaccination in my left arm … it’s a little sore. Other than soreness in my arm I’ve got no other complications or symptoms almost feels like another flu shot to me,” he said.

The Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office says they began getting the shots on Tuesday, and plan to finish the first round on Friday. About 50% of their deputies have had their first dose of the vaccination.

In Berkeley County, the sheriff’s office has deputies visiting Roper, Trident or MUSC medical facilities to get the vaccines.

In Goose Creek, 38 officers have had their first shot, 10 more are in the process of getting theirs.

“We signed up to serve and protect our community, so it behooves us to get the vaccination. That’s why frontline workers were the first to get it,” said Lt. Hirsch. “With the community, I think this is the only way we’re gonna be able to stop the spread of this virus so I would encourage everybody to get this vaccination.”

Right now, several law enforcement departments say that the vaccination is voluntary at this point. But they also say they may require their officers to get vaccinated at some point in the future.