Northern Light Health receives first coronavirus vaccine deliveries

Both Mercy and EMMC received 975 doses of the vaccine.
NLH Vaccine delivery
NLH Vaccine delivery(WABI)
Published: Dec. 14, 2020 at 11:33 AM EST
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - The fight against the coronavirus in the state of Maine has taken a major step forward..

Officials with Northern Light Health made this announcement shortly after 10 Monday morning.

“We are delighted to say that Northern light Mercy Hospital and Northern light Eastern Maine Medical Center each received a shipment of the Pfizer vaccine product this morning.”

Both hospitals received 975 doses of the vaccine.

Hospital officials say they expect a delivery at A.R. Gould in Presque Isle Tuesday.

The first to be vaccinated will be healthcare workers who deal directly with COVID-19 positive patients.

“That process that will begin on Wednesday,” said Northern Light Health Chief Human Resources Officer, Paul Bolin.

Although the Pfizer vaccine requires extreme cold storage, among other specific requirements in its handling, those at Northern Light are confident they are up to the challenge.

“On the day we are going to administer the vaccine, the vaccine needs to be thawed,” said Dr. James Jarvis. “From there, it needs to be reconstituted, and then it has a very short period of time where it can actually be utilized.”

He went on to say, “We expect it will be able to administer the vaccine fairly quickly with the limited amount that we have. We are very good at vaccinating people. If you think about it every single year we administer the influenza vaccine across all of our healthcare workers as well as all of our patients and we do that without any difficulty.”

Northern Light expects to receive more shipments of the Pfizer vaccine next week.

While still pending federal approval, they also expect that there will be shipments of the Moderna vaccine delivered next week, too.

Those with Operation Warp Speed also provided Northern Light with guidance about the follow up doses required to complete the vaccination.

“Three weeks from now, we will get our second shipment with a number of doses to vaccinate those people that were vaccinated initially,” explained Jarvis. “So yes, we will be able to vaccinate those full totals, will actually represent the full number of people who get vaccinated.”

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