Police Chief Biven receives first dose of COVID vaccine

Published: Jan. 18, 2021 at 7:00 PM CST
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Phase 1B of the COVID-19 vaccination rollout began Monday in Wisconsin. This means police and firefighter personnel are now eligible for the vaccine.

Wausau Police Chief Benjamin Bliven received his first dose at 1 p.m. Monday. He explained why it was important to him to be one of the first in line.

“The pandemic’s been going on for a long time and so it’s important for everybody in our community to get vaccinated. We’ve had a number of people within the police department that have had COVID, and we’ve had a lot of quarantines associated with COVID that have really impacted our ability to serve the community,” he said.

Phase 1A was restricted to those working in the healthcare community. They were the front line workers most likely to come into contact with those infected, and that phase began being administered on Dec. 22.

Firefighters and police deal with a wide array of the public, often not knowing the COVID status of those they respond to. This puts them at high risk too.

“You know, we have had a lot of exposures to COVID directly, out in the community responding to calls for service and I know our firefighters have had a lot of exposure to transporting COVID patients so think it’s important that first responders have access to the vaccine,” Chief Bliven said.

Here in Wausau, Aspirus is offering the vaccine at Wausau Family Medicine on the Aspirus campus. The vaccine will also be distributed at their Stephens Point clinic.

Chief Bliven said he was surprised and pleased to see so many of his team members in the waiting room when he arrived.

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