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COVID-19 Update: Gratitude for Our Community

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in Maine, thousands of community members have stepped up to support their local health system in caring for our community. During the COVID-19 pandemic, several individuals, businesses, and community organizations have supported Mid Coast–Parkview Health through financial contributions, sewing fabric masks, and donating food and services to support our frontline team members.

The teamwork, optimism, and unwavering commitment shown by the community in addressing the greatest public health challenge in a century has been reassuring and appreciated as we have navigated through this pandemic. This is especially true as we reflect on the accomplishments of the Mid Coast Hospital COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic to date.

When we opened our large-scale COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic back in January, Mid Coast Hospital was overwhelmed by the outpouring of community members that reached out to help. We are eternally grateful to the Town of Brunswick for allowing us to utilize the Brunswick Parks & Recreation facility, which provided adequate space for us maximize vaccination throughput. In addition, several other towns and organizations such as Bath Savings Institution, Bowdoin College, CEI, People Plus, the Bath Area Family YMCA, Bath Senior Center, Harpswell Aging at Home, Freeport Community Services, and local Rotary clubs have reached out to support this effort through any means available, including outreach to vulnerable seniors to help with appointments and providing rides to the clinic.

With more than 1,200 individuals who expressed interest in volunteering, we were so fortunate to have been able to compile an extensive list of individuals to staff the clinic. The COVID-19 vaccination team has changed lives and given hope to our community.

Community vaccination efforts are still ongoing, but the process continues to go very well. More than 56% of eligible Mainers have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. The state has administered more than 1.3 million vaccines statewide and in fact, Maine leads the nation in the number of vaccines given per capita. The Mid Coast Hospital COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic has administered more than 53,000 vaccines. These are such extraordinary milestones both locally and for the state of Maine.

In addition, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently authorized use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in children 12-15 years old and studies are underway to include younger children. This means that even more individuals will be able to get their vaccine, which is pivotal in the effort to accelerate the nation’s efforts to reduce COVID-19 infections. Clinical trials show the Pfizer vaccine is safe and effective for children in this age range. With Pfizer vaccine availability, Mid Coast Hospital’s COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic now welcomes anyone age 12 and over to get their vaccine. We are also working with local school systems to develop school-based clinics to make it even more convenient for children in the Midcoast region to get vaccinated.

As we prepare for the next phase of our ongoing pandemic response, Mid Coast Hospital’s COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic will relocate from Brunswick Landing to 81 Medical Center Drive on the Mid Coast Hospital campus on June 1. We will continue to offer walk-in appointments and individuals may also schedule appointments in advance to avoid lines and ensure vaccine supply when they arrive. For the most recent information about COVID-19 vaccination, including clinic hours and a list of available appointments, please visit www.midcoasthealth.com/vaccine.

With the continued presence of COVID-19 in our community, plus the arrival of new variant strains in our region, we encourage anyone who has not yet been vaccinated to get their COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccination helps protect you, your loved ones, and all the people around you. If you have not been vaccinated, please do so at your earliest convenience. Vaccinations are safe and effective, and they are available to you at no cost regardless of whether you have health insurance.

Even as we celebrate the renewed optimism surrounding our region’s robust vaccination rates, we recommend that our community members continue to follow the latest public health guidelines. New guidance from the Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) allows fully vaccinated Americans not to wear face coverings indoors effective May 24. However, it is recommended that people in Maine who are not fully vaccinated wear face coverings in indoor public settings. Wearing a mask remains one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Please also take this time to look after your own health. Mid Coast Hospital providers are available for patients in need of care, including important health screenings and testing, as well as primary and specialty care appointments. Preventive care is crucial to keeping you well, including mammograms, colonoscopies, and immunizations. Our providers and facilities are fully prepared to safely deliver the care you need.

While we are encouraged by recent trends and vaccination efforts, we also understand that this pandemic is not yet over and we will continue to feel the impact of COVID-19 for months to come. However, seeing so many Vaccination Clinic volunteers, supportive municipalities, and generous organizations come together to bolster our frontline care team members throughout this pandemic has been a bright spot and exemplifies our community’s exceptional spirit. There is no doubt that together, we will make it through this.

 
 
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