Apex fire chief, who had COVID-19, says get the vaccine

Josh Chapin Image
Wednesday, December 30, 2020
Apex fire chief urges you to get the COVID-19 vaccine
Apex Fire Chief Keith McGee, still recovering from the effects of COVID-19 says many of his firefighters will receive the vaccine.

APEX, N.C. (WTVD) -- North Carolina was allotted thousands of doses of both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines this week from the federal government

The allocation is only for first doses of the vaccine but 1,950 doses are each going to the Wake, Durham and Cumberland county health departments.

Wake County said of their initial batch of 975, they've vaccinated 360 people as of Tuesday morning.

Much of that has gone to paramedics and other emergency responders. This week the county will continue to give out doses to firefighters around the area.

Garner, Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Fuquay-Varina and other towns didn't get a specific allotment of the vaccine, so they will get theirs from the county.

"I feel like I've got one responsibility above all else and that is for all my personnel to go home the same way they came to work: healthy, safe and happy," said Keith McGee, chief of the Apex Fire Department.

McGee got COVID-19 himself in early December and was out until Tuesday. He said he's at 85% but still doesn't have the stamina back quite yet.

He's planning to get the vaccine Wednesday morning.

Of the 98 firefighters in the Apex FD, 63 are signed up to get it in the coming week. McGee said it's not mandatory, but he's encouraged as many as possible to get it.

"I have had the illness," he said. "Who knows about the length of time you may have antibodies that protect you? I just feel like I want to do everything I can to be able to be around my 80-year-old father and to be able to provide service to the citizens."

McGee said the fire department will be going in a shift that is signed up to be off for several days so if they do experience symptoms from the vaccine, they can have the days off.

The shipment coming in this week, according to Wake County, will be used for anyone else in the Phase 1A grouping before it goes to those in long-term care facilities that are not being covered by CVS and Walgreens.