WORCESTER, MASS. (WHDH) – First responders in Massachusetts say they’re eager to begin getting vaccinated against the coronavirus Monday.

Firefighters, police officers and EMTs can receive the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at 119 locations across the Bay State.

In the last two weeks, 95 Massachusetts firefighters have tested positive for the virus and almost 700 are currently in quarantine.

“We’ve seen firehouses where the whole group either has to be quarantined or gets COVID, which means the rest of us have to work longer and extra hours,” said Rich MacKinnon Jr., president of the Professional Firefighters of Massachusetts. “It’s affecting us hard. This vaccine is something that’s much needed in the first responder community.”

The vaccine for first responders is voluntary but firefighters in Whitman says they see it as an important part of their duty to save lives.

“It’s been a trying year for a lot of people so if this is a window out and nearing 100 percent safety for the community, then I think we should all do our part and get a vaccine,” Firefighter Russel Lucas said.

Gov. Charles Baker says the state will also start rolling out vaccines to nursing homes and assisted living facilities throughout the week.

“We know that the vaccines can’t be administered fast enough,” he said, “and the command center and DPH are working hard with our federal and local partners to vaccinate residents as quickly and safely as possible.”

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