LincolnHealth is taking a more aggressive approach toward providing COVID-19 vaccinations. Two weeks ago, LincolnHealth started calling patients in their network notifying them about availability of vaccination appointments in Boothbay Harbor. On April 30, LincolnHealth offered a limited number of walk-in appointments as a “dry-run” at the Boothbay Region YMCA field house.
LincolnHealth’s John Martins said Friday, “At this point, the only walk-in clinic firmly established is Monday, May 3 from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m. We are likely going to accept walk-ins on other days, including Saturday, May 8.
On Monday, May 3, Martins announced the walk-in hours have been scheduled through May 14. The hours are: 8:15 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. On Wednesday, May 5, 8:15 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday May 8, 8 a.m. to noon; On Friday, May 14, the clinic is only open a half day, so walk-ins will be limited to 8:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
“These are first dose walk-in appointments for ages 18 and up. People should bring a photo ID as well as an insurance card, if they have one. There is no cost for the vaccine. People should visit the LincolnHealth Facebook site for additional updates,” said Martins.
“We’ll keep updating our walk-in availability on our Facebook page, so I would direct people to the LincolnHealth FB page for the latest details,” said Martins.
Martins said people may pick an appointment time at www.mainehealth.org\vaccine
“They enter their ZIP code and date of birth and they’ll be able to choose from all available appointments across the MaineHealth locations. This may be a better option for some vs. a walk-in,” said Martins.
Brian Blethen is Lincoln Medical Partners’ director of operations. He reported the marketing change is due to supply outpacing demand. “We’re using our network to contact specific industries such as hospitality and fishing, or businesses like Washburn & Doughty. Our supply outweighs demand. So we’re trying to combat vaccination hesitancy by offering walk-in appointments,” he said.
So far, LincolnHealth’s effort in vaccinating county residents has posted strong results. Blethen reports Lincoln County remains the top county in percentage of population vaccinated in Maine. He estimated of LincolnHealth’s 14,473 patient population, 59% had received the first Moderna vaccination and countywide 63% of the estimated 29,550 received the first dose. Blethen estimates by July 1 all county residents will have received both vaccinations.
“Our current plan extends until the end of June. I’m not sure what happens then,” he said. “We are still determining our future plans with pharmaceutical manufacturers regarding supply and our needs.”
Blethen also reports national medical officials are still studying whether or not an annual booster shot will be necessary.