County Commissioner Tobia proposes vaccine mandate for county first responders

With coronavirus and remote learning, it's harder to make sure kids are up to date on their vaccinations. (Dreamstime/TNS)

Brevard County District 3 Commissioner John Tobia will introduce a County policy during a meeting on February 23 that would force first responder employees of Brevard County to be vaccinated, “in order to protect the public from COVID-19.”

Tobia said his proposal stems from a statement made by Maria Stahl of the Brevard County Health Department saying, “EMTs not being vaccinated could definitely result in the transmission of the virus which could result in the death of a resident.”

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“Certain first responder employees of Brevard County, such as EMTs, who interact regularly with those members of the community who are at high risk of death from COVID-19, are considered a ‘direct threat’ to the public and may be required to vaccinate from the virus as a condition of employment,” said Tobia.

“As Ms. Stahl pointed out, ‘in Brevard, 88 percent of deaths are to those over the age of 65 and 57 percent are those from long term care facilities. Brevard EMS responds very frequently to that age group and to facilities.’ ”

Tobia said that 66 percent of those employees who responded to a Brevard fire union survey said they would not take the vaccine.

This policy proposal will be discussed by the Brevard County Commissioners on Tuesday, February 23 at 9 a.m. during its regular meeting at the Brevard County government center.

Brevard County Commissioner Bryan Lober earlier offered a cash incentive to first responders to get the vaccine. He also advocated for a county wide mask mandate.  Lober then said decisions on “necessary governmental action must be based upon science, data and expert epidemiological opinion, not upon lay opinion or political pressure.”

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