By Shelley Farrington Lincoln News • April 1, 2021
MILLINOCKET – The Millinocket Regional Hospital vaccination train keeps on rolling with another successful Moderna clinic last Saturday at which 215 more citizens received their first doses of protection against COVID-19. More than 2,000 citizens have been either fully vaccinated or received their first dose since MRH began conducting clinics in February.
In addition, Todd Phillips, MRH Infection Preventionist said the hospital has received the Johnson and Johnson (J&J) vaccine and scheduled the first clinic with this vaccine on March 31. This clinic will again take place at Stearns High School from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The challenge now is getting more people signed up to be vaccinated, said Phillips and MRH Marketing Coordinator Katie Mackin. The change in the state’s vaccination requirements allow for any adult 50 years or older get vaccinated now as well as educators and licensed childcare workers. On April 19 citizens 16 and over will become eligible.
“We need anyone who is interested in getting vaccinated to sign up as soon as possible,” Mackin said. “We know there is interest in this vaccine partly because it is one dose so we hope that translates to people who were waiting for this, or on the fence, to register now.”
Registration takes place at mrhme.org/getvax or by calling MRH at 723-7225. MRH staff will call you back to set up an appointment. You do not need to be a patient of the hospital or any of its physician’s practices to register.
The J&J vaccine is 100 percent effective in protecting against COVID-19 variants, hospitalizations and death. Keeping people out of the hospital is a major goal, Mackin said.
Information sheets on the vaccine indicate that the potential side effects are similar to the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines with pain at the injection site, headache and fatigue, etc.
MRH is also gearing up to provide second doses of the Moderna vaccine on April 3. More than 700 citizens, including area educators and licensed childcare workers received the first dose that was given March 6.
Phillips said MRH will continue with its Moderna second dose clinics until everyone is fully vaccinated and then move to offering the J&J vaccine exclusively for as long as the vaccine is available to MRH.