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Drive-thru vaccine clinic to be held at Houlton Middle-High School

HOULTON, Maine — Residents in the Houlton area who have yet to receive a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine will have a chance to do so without having to go into Houlton Regional Hospital — or even leaving their cars. 

Houlton Regional announced it would be holding a drive-thru clinic at Houlton Middle-High School from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 17. Doses of the single-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine, as well as the two-shot Pfizer vaccine, will be given out to anyone who arrives at the school during that time frame, without need of the person to exit their cars. 

With recent approval from the federal Food and Drug Administration, people ages 12 and up are now eligible for the Pfizer vaccine, while those 18 and up may take the Johnson and Johnson single-shot vaccine. 

Shawn Anderson, the CEO of Houlton Regional Hospital, said he hoped the drive-thru experience would encourage those hesitant about traveling to the hospital, as well as members of the younger population, to joined the thousands of southern Aroostook residents who have already been protected against the pandemic which has paralyzed most of the world over the past year. 

“We’re particularly concerned about vaccination rates in the younger population. We’re seeing more incidents of positive COVID cases in younger ages, not just adolescents but people in their twenties, thirties and forties,” Anderson said. “We know that not everyone enjoys coming into a hospital environment. So this is our way of taking the vaccine to the people.”

Residents wishing to get vaccinated at the clinic are able to pre-register for the event on the Houlton Regional Hospital website, although Anderson said the clinic could also take on a certain number of unregistered arrivals. 

“We’re encouraging all people to register in advance if at all possible,” he said. “But we do recognize that this may be somewhat of an impromptu thing for some people, and we can also handle a certain number of unregistered people.”

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