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Three of Maine’s hospital systems come together to discuss the pandemic

exterior of Northern Light Health Eastern Maine Medical Center
exterior of Northern Light Health Eastern Maine Medical Center(wabi)
Published: Dec. 9, 2020 at 4:52 PM EST
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - Three major hospital systems came together today to talk about COVID-19 and a vaccine for the virus.

Dr. James Jarvis from Northern Light Health was joined in his weekly news conference by the heads of both Central Maine Healthcare and MaineGeneral Health.

They shared a message reminding people to continue to wear masks, wash hands, and practice social distancing.

They say all of these things can help better manage the pandemic and must be in place for the coming winter months.

”We don’t want to see loads of patients that are literally dying in our hospitals. We don’t want to see any of those things. That’s what we’re scared of. That’s why we’re here because we want to prevent that from happening. Maine has done an excellent job, and we need to continue doing those things, and we need to do them better,” said Dr. Jarvis.

Dr. Jarvis added some hospitals are reaching their max capacity of COVID-19 patients.

He says changes will need to be made to accommodate the soaring number of cases.

And with a vaccine getting closer to being authorized, healthcare workers are in the spotlight.

They are expected to be the first group to receive it.

”We’re roughly about 50-60% of our healthcare workers say they’re interested in a vaccine. And they’ve given us guidelines of what they want information about. What are the potential side effects? What happens if I have symptoms as a result of the vaccine? How does that impact my ability to continue to work? We feel like we’ll have enough information and maintained a transparent process with our team members in order to ensure they can make that decision for themselves,” said Dr. John Alexander of Central Maine Healthcare.

The FDA has yet to give emergency authorization for either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

It is expected more information about potential side effects will be shared once the vaccines are authorized.

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