NORTHEAST HARBOR, ME – The Mission Covid-19 vaccination clinic team heads out on March 19th morning aboard the mailboat, Sea Queen, for clinics on Great Cranberry island and Islesford.
The Maine CDC gave permission for the Mission Covid vaccination medical team to administer vaccines to island residents 18-years old and up on Great Cranberry and Islesford. The CDC’s decision was a huge nod to efficiency and common sense. Registering island residents, and then transporting the medical team with vaccines to them, is tricky under the best circumstances. So once the team is in place — on an island community center, or a ladies club — why not vaccinate as many people as possible?
Mother Nature decided to rough up an otherwise smooth plan for these clinics by delivering winds heavy enough to make traveling aboard the 74-foot Sunbeam out of the question. If you think of a tractor trailer rolling across a flatland meeting a strong crosswind, you get a sense of how wind can prevent the Sunbeam from easing into a dock, or staying tied to a dock.
So this trip, on March 19, the medical team traveled aboard the much more wind-friendly mail boat that travels between Northeast Harbor and Great Cranberry Island. The team consisted of Sharon Daley (Lead Nurse), Maureen Giffin (Nurse), Douglas Cornman (ImmPact Recorder), John Zavodny (Registrar), Kathy Cheney (Monitor), and Katelyn Damon.
The team was joined by Maine Public Radio’s Patty Wight, who reported on the trip on March 26, 2021.
Forty-four islanders received Covid-19 vaccinations this day. As teacher Lauren Gray told MPB’s Patty Wight, ““It just feels like there’s a light. Even in our small community, we haven’t been gathering indoors. Out here on the island that makes such a big difference in getting through the winter, is being able to go to people’s houses and share a meal on this rock that’s three miles out.”