By Shelley Farrington Lincoln News • February 25, 2021
MILLINOCKET – Millinocket Regional Hospital staff and community volunteers conducted the first mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Stearns High School in Millinocket on Feb. 17.
By all accounts the clinic was a great success with more than 300 residents of the Katahdin region receiving their first dose of the COVID-19 Moderna vaccine with a second dose set to be administered at a similar clinic on March 17.
According to MRH Marketing Coordinator Katie Mackin another by appointment mass vaccination clinic is scheduled for Stearns High School on Saturday, March 6 beginning at 9 a.m. She said at least 300 more vaccines will be given and potentially many more as the hospital has requested additional allocations more but won’t have exact numbers until the vaccinations are delivered the week of the clinic.
MRH Infection Preventionist Todd Phillips, RN, BSN, MPH said he’s received updates on vaccine delivery delays due to the dramatic weather conditions in various parts of the United States. He added that that six million doses of vaccine have not been shipped due to three days of delays that are weather related. UPS and Fed Ex have both been impacted by weather conditions.
Mackin said MRH staff will use its current vaccination list, which includes over 2,000 citizens fitting the current priority of aged 70 and older, to make appointments for those citizens.
Citizens are asked to adhere to the “by appointment only” restrictions as anyone without an appointment will be turned away. That cannot be stressed enough, MRH staff say.
According to Maine CDC guidelines that state is in “Phase 1b” which gives priority to citizens aged 70 or over.
Mackin said MRH staff is working as fast as possible to get citizens vaccinated but must follow the strict CDC guidelines while also not knowing how much vaccine will be sent to the hospital each week.
“We are working with staff, and the growing vaccine list to reach as many of our citizens as we can,” Mackin said, “but we are limited by state guidelines. We know it’s difficult to wait but continue to ask people be patient.”
Anyone interested in getting vaccinated needs to sign up at www.mrhme.org/getvax and the staff will continue to make appointments as guidelines permit and CDC guidelines allow.
Citizens are also encouraged to watch the hospital’s Facebook page and the Katahdin Region News for updates and clinic dates.