Hampshire Sheriff’s Office begins vaccinating staff for COVID-19

Hampshire County

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Vaccines started going out Thursday for the staff at the Hampshire County Sheriff’s Office. As of Friday, roughly 40 doses of the Moderna vaccine had been put out.

“Just for our jurisdiction alone we’re going to need about 300 vaccines,” Sheriff Patrick Cahillane said.

According to Hampshire County Sheriff Patrick Cahillane, the first allotment of the Moderna vaccine arrived on January 5 and was appropriately secured before distribution Thursday morning.

Cahillane made the decision to get vaccinated himself and issued the following statement:

“After much discussion with my family, and my COVID Team, and after much internal debate, I concluded that it was best for the continued smooth operation of the HSO for me to take the vaccine during this initial phase. It also gives me the opportunity to demonstrate my faith in the science that brought us the vaccine and to do what I have tried to do for my entire career, especially during these past 10 months: lead by example.”

Cahillane told 22News, they’ve started vaccinating their medical team and other staff members who give covid-facing care. The idea is to prioritize vaccinating those who could bring the virus into the facility

All based on the state’s public health guidance.

“I think the next wave will be the inmate population to keep them safe from each other and our safe hopefully within the next three to four weeks,” he said.

Vaccines are being offered to staff twice a week in 15-minute increments to promote social distancing.

“We’ll give them vaccine information which they get to take home with them for review and then we give them what to expect after a COVID vaccine for any potential side effects,” Kathryn McKenna-Weiss, the facility’s Nurse Practitioner said.

One of the challenges in getting ready for the rollout was storage. They had to make sure they had a way to keep it at the appropriate temperature and that they had the necessary security around it.

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