First responders in Hartford have begun receiving their COVID-19 vaccinations.
Among the first to receive them Friday morning were Harford Fire Chief Reginald Freeman and Police Chief Jason Thody.
Freeman said he trusts the science behind the vaccine and encouraged others to get it.
First responders put themselves at risk and Freeman said crews have responded to 2,167 COVID-19 related calls.
So far, 70 firefighters have received the vaccine and that number is climbing, he said.
The vaccine event took place at Saint Francis Hospital in Hartford beginning at 10:30 a.m.
“If Saint Francis Hospital tells me it is safe, I trust them,” Thody said.
Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin was joined by Connecticut senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy who stressed the importance of getting vaccinated.
Bronin also addressed the safety of the vaccine and said it has gone through a rigorous testing process. It’s safe and effective, he said, and he thanked the chiefs for getting the vaccine in public so everyone could see.
Blumenthal said the most important message today is that heroes are stepping up and showing the vaccine is safe and effective.
“It is safe and effective. Science says it is safe and effective. Listen to the scientists, not the politicians,” Blumenthal said.
He called for a national vaccination strategy and for more vaccine distribution.
“Until the vaccine is in someone’s arm, it’s no good,” Blumenthal said.
Murphy called for more vaccine to get to Connecticut and more certainty of delivery.
He said the vaccines are safe and "wildly effective" and urged people to get the vaccine when they are eligible to do so.