By Shelley Farrington Lincoln News • December 9, 2021
MILLLINOCKET – Millinocket Regional Hospital continues its efforts to combat and minimize the effects of COVID-19 with Moderna booster shot clinics scheduled for Dec. 15 and Dec. 22 at Stearns Junior/Senior High School from 3-6 p.m.
MRH Infection Preventionist Todd Phillips, RN, BSN, MPH said all adults are eligible for the booster and there’s no appointment necessary, those wanting the shot just show up. He added that booster shots are now recommended for anyone age 18 or older who has been fully vaccinated for at least six months with the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine and two months for the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.
Booster shots have gained new importance as the COVID-19 Delta Variant continues to spread and it’s only a matter of time when the Omicron Variant shows up in the state and region, Phillips said. He added that boosters, masking, and continued vigilance are the best defense against getting sick and being hospitalized.
“Booster shots are administered to remind the body’s immune system about the virus it needs to defend against,” said Phillips. “This improves or gives the immune system a boost.”
“This approach has been used with other vaccines, such as hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and some meningitis vaccines. Booster doses are meant to remind the immune system how to respond to viruses or bacteria, so a response can be hard-wired,” Phillips said. “Studies have shown that once the immune system is primed, any of the COVID-19 vaccines will help finalize the memory within the immune system.”
On Dec. 10, MRH will also be conducting the second Pfizer vaccine clinic for the 90 children that received first doses before Thanksgiving break. Shots will be given at the same schools that the children received their first ones – Granite Street, Opal Myrick, Medway Middle, Kingman, Staceyville and Dyer Brook.
The boosters and the children’s clinics are just in time for the Christmas holiday season, Phillips said. It’s a great opportunity for families to gather together again knowing they’ve done all they can to protect themselves and their loved ones.