Governor Mills visits Morse High School vaccination clinic

Governor Mills speaks with students from Morse High School waiting for their vaccine. Courtesy of Lindsey Goudreau

Morse High School hosted its first COVID-19 vaccination clinic, offering vaccines to district students aged 5 and older, with Governor Janet Mills stopping for a visit.

Governor Mills visited the students as they waited for their shots.

“I remember when I was a kid, when I got the polio shot at a school like this, but it wasn’t as welcoming and friendly – you were standing in line in a cold hallway and you get vaccinated, ”she said. “It was much more welcoming.”

The clinic was operated by MidCoast Hospital under the supervision of Jessie Chalmers, Community Health Program Coordinator, and CHANS nurse Avanel Payne.

“This is the third school clinic that we are running this year,” Payne said. “The kids have done really well, even though their parents aren’t with them.

Payne said she believed the vaccination would help keep students in school; important not only for their education, but also to avoid isolation.

“I have been a pediatric nurse for a long time. Social development is as important as educational development, ”she said. “The more people there are vaccinated, the faster we’ll get out of it. “

On August 23, the United States Food and Drug Administration approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 disease in people 16 years of age or older. Since October 29, the vaccine has been available, under emergency authorization, for children 5 years of age and over. Morse organized two vaccination clinics for students aged 12 and over last spring, with approximately 100 vaccinations administered per clinic. Another 100 vaccines were administered on Friday.

Regional School Unit 1 deputy superintendent Katie Joseph said the school district has chosen to run clinics during the school day to remove barriers for parents who want their children to receive the vaccine.

“It is very important that, if a family chooses to vaccinate their student, they can access this opportunity regardless of their work schedule, the availability of a vehicle and their relationship with a primary care doctor,” he said. she declared. “Equal access to health care and other student services is something RSU 1 cares deeply about for its entire community. “

Governor Mills congratulated the students for choosing to receive the vaccine.

“They are safe and they will ensure the safety of their families,” she said. “The message I gave them if there was any anxiety was the one Christopher Robin gave to Winnie the Pooh.” Always remember: you are braver than you think, stronger than you are. ‘look and smarter than you think. ”And these kids are strong, smart and brave.

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