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COVID Vaccine Arrives at Inland and Staff Vaccinations Begin

Date: 12/23/2020

The fight against COVID-19 got a shot in the arm today at Northern Light Inland Hospital – literally – as employees started to receive their first dose of the Moderna vaccine.

The Waterville hospital received 200 doses today that will be used for staff vaccinations over the next few weeks, with staff getting a second, booster shot 28 days later. More vaccine is expected next week.

“This is a very exciting day for all of us because the vaccine brings hope,” said Terri Vieira, president of the hospital. “It marks a big boost in our efforts to combat COVID-19. We are hopeful that all staff who want the vaccine will be able to get it within the next month – depending on the availability of the vaccine.” The COVID-19 vaccine is voluntary for staff.

According to John Merchant, PharmD, director of pharmacy at Inland Hospital, “We have been eagerly awaiting the vaccine, and staff is enthusiastic about its arrival. We are making special efforts to help staff make an informed choice by offering vaccine education forums via Zoom and personal, one-on-one support so they can ask questions and understand the science around the effectiveness and safety of this important vaccine.”

Merchant added, “The vaccine is preservative and latex free. Studies have shown it is 50% effective after the first dose and 94% effective after the second dose.”

Regarding vaccinations for the public, Northern Light Health hospitals continue to work closely with the Maine CDC on a process and timeline.