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Vaccine rollout starts in Rockland

By Stephen Betts | Dec 31, 2020
Photo by: Stephen Betts Rockport Fire Chief Jason Peasley receives a vaccine on Thursday, Dec. 31 at the Flanagan Community Center in Rockland. The shot is being administered by Carrie Adams from the Thomaston Emergency Medical Services department.

Rockland — Emergency medical staff from around Knox County were receiving their first dose of the Moderna vaccine on New Year's Eve at the Flanagan Community Center in Rockland.

Rockland and Union emergency medical services crews were administering the vaccine to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Rockland Fire Chief Christopher Whytock said the initial plan was to have separate vaccination drives at Union and Rockland, but agreed it would be more efficient to have a single location.

There are 140 licensed emergency medical technicians in Knox County, although some work in other counties and may be vaccinated in those counties, the chief said.

The Rockland vaccination drive will be from Dec. 31 to Jan. 2. Next week, the drive will be on Vinalhaven, where EMS workers from Vinalhaven and North Haven will get their shots.

The chief said he expects 120 doses will be administered by the end of next week.

Then, in 28 days, the second round of the Moderna vaccine shots will be given to the same people.

The next phase will be to vaccinate other public safety workers, and then the general public. He said there is uncertainty on when the general public will be vaccinated, but he has been told both March or May.

People who receive the vaccine are required to remain at the clinic site for 15 minutes or 30 minutes if the person has ever had an allergic reaction to other vaccines.

At the Dec. 31 vaccine drive was Rotary District Governor-Elect Doug Curtis of Rockland.

Curtis said Rotary has made it a goal to raise $25,000 throughout the state to help local emergency medical services departments pay for any expenses incurred in the vaccinations.

The only expense Rockland has incurred thus far is the purchase of a refrigerator to store the vaccine. Chief Whytock said the city got a very good deal on a refrigerator from The Home Depot. The department already had iPads to keep track of who has received the vaccinations, so that was not an additional expense, he noted.

The only other expense was overtime costs for Rockland EMS. He said money from the federal CARES Act may help in reimbursing expenses as well.

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Comments (8)
Posted by: Valerie Wass | Jan 03, 2021 10:02


I have made in through 2020!  I take one day at a time.  I wear my mask out in public, try to stay 6' apart, although in some stores, people just do not get that one.  I refuse to be a guinea pig for the government.  I am 56 years young.  You aren't no concern about this vaccine being rushed through when it takes years and years for a company to come up with a vaccine?  You are not concerned if there will be long term side effects?  After all, this vaccine has not even been out for a year.  That is extremely scary to me.

Posted by: Crawford L Robinson | Jan 02, 2021 21:23

Again... thank you all for increasing my dosage chances..... Happy New Year. I hope you all make it through it.

Posted by: Wyatt Anderson | Jan 02, 2021 14:21

Valerie, I am 62 and I am going to hold off on getting the vaccine for the same reason.

Posted by: Valerie Wass | Jan 02, 2021 09:11

Sacrifice myself, Crawford?  Good grief!  Your are too funny.

Posted by: Crawford L Robinson | Jan 01, 2021 10:19

A big shout out for those willing to sacrifice themselves by denying the vaccine. It should help ensure a larger supply so I can get mine sooner. Thank you.....

Posted by: DALE HAYWARD | Dec 31, 2020 16:27

Is it possible that the greater the number of covid cases anyone can attach means more money being, well you know what I mean.

Posted by: Valerie Wass | Dec 31, 2020 15:57

I am not going to get the vaccine because I do not know the long term consequences.  Before you "slam" me and my decision, this is my right.  We all have choices.  Just because you do not agree, please do not be spite full or mean.

Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Dec 31, 2020 13:03

Encouraging to see what teamwork can accomplish. Kudos to all of those on the front lines as we make their job easier by following CDC guidelines for the Common Good.  2021 gives us all an opportunity for a  fresh start. Most of us are sick of the polarization and many are stepping forward to make a difference; such as the Mid-Coast Interfaith Alliance:  Midcoast Interfaith Alliance invites all to New Year's Eve service - Rockland - Camden - Knox - Courier-Gazette - Camden Herald (


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