Mid Coast Hospital Announces Large-Scale Regional COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic

Town of Brunswick partners to allow use of Brunswick Parks & Recreation

With the Maine CDC’s recent guidance to expand COVID-19 vaccination eligibility, Mid Coast Hospital announced the establishment of a large-scale regional vaccination clinic in collaboration with the Town of Brunswick. The Brunswick Parks & Recreation location on Brunswick Landing will provide additional space, ensure adequate parking, and increase vaccination throughput with the ability to provide more than 800 vaccines daily.

"Having one central regional vaccine clinic will allow us to vaccinate the greatest number of people in the quickest time period,” said Lois Skillings, President of Mid Coast–Parkview Health. "Martin’s Point Healthcare offices in Brunswick are collaborating on this effort. Bowdoin College and the Towns of Topsham, Bath, and Harpswell have all volunteered to assist as well. Our goal is to work together to ensure that everyone in our region has access to the COVID-19 vaccine. This large-scale central approach will allow us to reach more people with the ability to give 10,000 first vaccines and 10,000 second vaccines each month, depending on vaccine availability.”

Vaccination will be accessible to not only Mid Coast Hospital and Martin’s Point patients, but all community members who meet the Maine CDC’s criteria for eligibility. Vaccination is offered by appointment only. Appointments will prevent long lines and allow the Clinic to safely and quickly vaccinate large numbers of people.

"Our ability to give vaccinations is dependent upon eligibility requirements determined by the Maine CDC as well as availability of vaccine,” said Christopher Bowe, MD, Chief Medical Office at Mid Coast–Parkview Health. "With expansion of our vaccination efforts at Brunswick Parks & Recreation Center at Brunswick Landing, we will be able to invite more individuals for vaccination as long as we continue to have supplies available.”

Mid Coast Hospital and Brunswick Parks & Recreation are planning to open the new clinic location on January 25, 2021. This has resulted in some recreation programming being postponed or relocated.

"We recognize that postponing certain recreation programs and rescheduling along with relocating others is inconvenient and unexpected, and we apologize for the disruption,” said Thomas Farrell, Director of Brunswick Parks & Recreation. "I can assure you that we have made this decision with the health of the greater Brunswick community at the forefront. We know that widespread vaccination is the key to ending this pandemic, which will allow us to return to our typical programming sooner. We are grateful to be able to assist Mid Coast Hospital with delivering vaccines as quickly as possible, and appreciate the understanding of our patrons and program participants.”

Mid Coast Hospital is using a multi-faceted approach to schedule eligible individuals for vaccination. Patients who meet the CDC criteria will begin to receive personal invitations via email and phone over the next few weeks. This is being done in phases as appointments and vaccine become available.

Dr. Bowe commented, "It is important for patients to understand that we are working as quickly as possible to expand our vaccination efforts and we ask for your continued patience as we navigate the evolving guidelines. We are currently experiencing an influx of phone calls to our Medical Group practices, which is interfering with our typical patient process for those in need of acute care. We understand and are grateful that people are excited to be vaccinated, but please know that we will reach out to you to schedule appointments and calling our practices will not expedite this process.”

In addition to this outreach process, patients and community members can visit www.midcoasthealth.com/vaccine or call (877) 780-7545 to use MaineHealth’s automated COVID-19 Vaccine Assistant, which helps determine eligibility and connects with a MaineHealth vaccine scheduling team. The MaineHealth COVID-19 Vaccine Assistant has received a significant number of calls and continues to evolve to accommodate the high volume.

"We continue to evolve our scheduling process with new resources as they come online,” said Dr. Bowe. "In the interim, we are doing everything we can to get eligible people scheduled and immunized.”

Even as vaccine becomes available, Mid Coast Hospital encourages all individuals, including those who have been vaccinated, to remain vigilant with safety measures known to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Wear a mask in public, practice social distancing, avoid unnecessary travel, keep surfaces clean, and practice good hand hygiene.

During the pandemic and amidst this most recent surge of COVID-19, Mid Coast Hospital and Mid Coast Medical Groups are available for patients in need of care including important health screenings and testing, as well as primary and specialty care appointments. Enhanced safety measures include universal masking of patients and staff, extra cleaning of surfaces, segregation of patients known or suspected of having COVID-19, and a daily screening for symptoms of all employees. Telehealth appointments are also available for those who wish to remain at home.