Some 330 Shoreline first responders have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination.

The East Shore District Health Department staff nurses and Medical Reserve Corps volunteer nurses administered the Moderna vaccination to emergency responders and EMS personnel in Branford, Guilford, Madison, East Haven and North Branford.

For Barbara Naclerio, East Shore District Health Department public health educator, this was a positive step toward protecting people against the coronavirus.

“It’s a wonderful feeling to know that people are getting vaccinated,” she said. “It’s like the sun coming up. Like a ray of hope coming through the clouds. The more people who get vaccinated, the more you think, ‘Ah, maybe there will be an end to this.”

The East Shore District Health Department, in partnership with the Madison Health Department and the Guilford Health Department, held three vaccination clinics between Dec. 29 and Jan. 6.

Connecticut is in Phase 1a of vaccine distribution. This phase includes healthcare personnel, long-term care residents and first responders, including Emergency Medical Technicians , police and fire personnel.

All recipients of the vaccine will require a second dose one month after the first vaccination.

Guilford Chief of Police Warren “Butch” Hyatt, Jr. said that everyone within his department attended the vaccinations clinic, including dispatchers and administrative staff.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re the person out on the frontline or the person actually back in the building, we can’t afford to have anybody getting sick because then if could jeopardize everybody,” he said.

Naclerio said individuals sat for 15 minutes after the vaccination, to be watched for any adverse reactions. In addition, an ambulance was on site. She said there were no critical reactions.

Hyatt said the only side effect he experienced was a sore arm for a couple of days.

He said this is a very positive development in the fight against COVID-19.

“I think it makes everybody feel a little hopeful,” he said. “I think it makes everybody feel a little bit safer, but we still have to remain diligent in taking care of ourselves with wearing masks and other PPE.”

The East Shore District Health Department will continue to provide vaccinations to those whose turn it is to receive the vaccine. The Health Department’s goal is for all residents to have access to the vaccination, although this will likely not occur until late spring or early summer 2021.

“This is the most promising step forward, to date, in protecting our community through this pandemic,” said Michael Pascucilla, health director for the East Shore District Health Department.

The health departments stress that everyone should remain diligent in following guidelines to slow the spread of the virus. These measures will help protect the community against a widespread outbreak:

Wear a mask over your nose and mouth when out in public.

Adhere to a minimum 6-foot social distancing from others

Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.

Quarantine for at least 10 days if you are in contact with someone who is sick or has tested positive for Covid-19

Stay home if you are sick except to get medical care.

Wash your hands with soap and water frequently and for at least 20 seconds.

Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands after.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

Hyatt stressed that the vaccine is so important for the frontline workers who are in such close contact with the public and find it harder to feel totally safe.

“It’s hopeful because for a long time everybody has been trying to do everything they can to try and stay safe, try to stay healthy and keep everyone around them safe and healthy,” Hyatt said.

“It makes them much more hopeful and I think feel a little bit more confident that they won’t bring that home to their family,” he said.

For the most current updates and recommendations, visit https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/COVID-19-Vaccination---Phases . For general questions, call 2-1-1

Connecticut Media Group