Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine vials setup for vaccinating children ages 5-11 at Katherine R. Smith Elementary School in San Jose, Calif., on Nov. 4, 2021. (Harika Maddala/ Bay City News)

First responders and people who transport others for medical reasons must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Dec. 21 or wear masks in the presence of patients and residents and test weekly, according to a new health order from the Alameda County health officer.

The order, issued Tuesday, is meant to protect medical patients in high-risk medical care settings and applies to law enforcement, firefighters, 911 ambulance transport workers and workers involved in non-emergency medical transport.

A COVID-19 booster shot is not required right now to be considered fully vaccinated, county public health officials said.

The new order applies specifically to people who enter high-risk health care facilities such as general acute care hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and among others, adult and senior care facilities. A full list of high-risk health care facilities can be found in the state’s Aug. 5 public health order at

Employers may require first responders and medical transport workers to be fully vaccinated and not give workers the option to test and wear a mask.