Swan’s Island Covid Vaccination Trip – Feb 25

NORTHEAST HARBOR, ME — On the windy, brisk, February 25th, Mission Island Health Services Director Sharon Daley, MDI Hospital nurse Maureen Giffin, Mission Island Outreach Director Douglas Cornman, and Mission President John Zavodny eased their car onto the Swan’s Island ferry to deliver their first Covid-19 vaccination clinic since partnering with the Maine CDC and local hospitals. And there was no better way to do it than by teaming up with Executive Director Donna Wiegle and the Swan’s Island Mill Pond Health Clinic.
 
For weeks beforehand, Sharon and Douglas went over the variables for launching a series of vaccination clinics for several remote Maine island populations. How to let islanders know, and then register them, for the clinics? Suppose we schedule a clinic and the weather rebels?
 
Receiving the vaccine depended on the weather too, plus the cooperation of other entities. There were already times went promised vaccine deliveries fell through for one reason or another, usually weather related.
 
Sharon and Douglas put in place a plan, a template for running the island clinics without a hitch. Would the plan work? Would it need revision?
 
Swan’s Island was the first chance for answering all those questions while in the field.
 
The clinic went off without a hitch. Sixty-one people were vaccinated. Sharon Daley told one reporter, “It feels like a big party because everybody is so happy to get this vaccine and it is a real sign of hope.”
 
President Zavodny, who was taking notes, pictures, and assisting with registrations, sent back to the Mission an 11:45 am email. He said, “System’s working well. Folks are showing up early and are very excited and grateful to the Mission and to the Health Center here.”
 
Maine Seacoast Mission’s Thomas Thompson had designed “I got my Covid-19 vaccination!” stickers. They were a real hit with clinic goers. EMT Tammy Tipler’s carnations were the perfect touch to send each individual on their way.
 
At day’s end the Swan’s Island clinic was, in every way, a success.
 
Next, the Mission crew aboard the Mission boat Sunbeam, with nursing assistance and a Boston Globe photographer, would host four clinics for four islands over two days. Sixty-one down, 147 to go.

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