Springfield firefighter gets coronavirus vaccine live during DeWine press conference

A Springfield firefighter who has been with the department for more than 20 years received the coronavirus vaccine live during Gov. Mike DeWine’s update on the pandemic on Wednesday.

“I believe in this vaccine,” said Chris Chilton. “I believe this is the time to do this.”

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He said he wanted to get the vaccine for a number of reasons, noting that his wife is a nurse, his parents are in their 70s.

“There are all kinds of business people who I associate with that are unemployed or underemployed right now,” he said. “I’d like to do my part to get us back to as close to normal if I can.”

Christina Conover, director of nursing for the Clark County Combined Health District administered the vaccine at the former JC Penney store at the Upper Valley Mall.

“We are really excited to be part of this phase of the response,” Conover said.

Other Clark County emergency medical service personnel will continue to receive coronavirus vaccines today.

Clark County commissioners directed $60,000 in CARES Act funding to the Clark County Land Reutilization Corp. for a temporary space at the Upper Valley Mall to allow the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine for local first responders.

“This unused space provides an opportunity to administer vaccines that will protect our healthcare workers and first responders,” said Clark County Commission President Melanie Flax Wilt in a press release. “We are all anxious to enhance our community-wide immunity, so that we can move on with our lives.”

The health district will use the 110,000-square-foot space for up to three months to provide emergency COVID-19 vaccinations, testing and other secondary facilities, according to the release.

Health Commissioner Charles Patterson said it is a good temporary use for the space.

“This will provide a place for the health department to safely vaccinate any Clark County EMS personnel that wish to be vaccinated. If the need arises, we are prepared and eager to scale the operation and make it available to everyone,” Patterson said.

The health department is following the phase 1A priority order, and each subsequent group will be notified when the vaccine becomes available to them.

Only EMS personnel who have called and scheduled an appointment with the health department will be vaccinated