A COVID-19 vaccination clinic for children aged 5 to 18 that was due to open this week at the Lisbon Community School gymnasium has been cancelled.
Julie Nichols, director of curriculum, instruction and assessment at the Lisbon school department, said her partner agency, Public Health Nursing, canceled the clinic because it was unwilling to operate after the class hours.
The school department planned to hold clinics for the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on January 6 and 7 with second doses on January 27 and 28.
Nichols said in a previous interview that the district does not hold daytime clinics out of respect for families who don’t want their children exposed to clinics and to allow school nurses to focus on day-to-day operations.
“Our partner has canceled our clinic,” Nichols said. “They would only support a school day clinic performed during school hours.”
There are 1,216 children between the ages of 5 and 18 in the Lisbon school department.
As of December 23, at least 69 positive COVID-19 cases have been reported at Lisbon High School, Lisbon Community School and Philip W. Sugg Middle School, according to the 30-day COVID-19 case report from schools in the Maine.
In November, the school department launched a survey of the COVID-19 vaccination clinic so that families prepare for the clinic and know how many children to expect. However, they abruptly ended the investigation after the partner clinic refused to set up the clinic.
Nichols said the parents were notified of the cancellation.
“Since our cancellation, a few families have opted into the Auburn Mall clinic, but I don’t have any specific data to share,” Nichols said.
Most school departments in the Midcoast set up vaccination clinics for children in November of last year. Children can also get vaccinated at retail pharmacies, including Hannaford, Walgreens, Walmart or Sam’s Club.
Instead, Nichols said the school district registered through Maine Health to set up a pop-up clinic in the community, but didn’t hear back.
As of January 2, 65,292 children ages 5 to 11 and 162,428 children ages 12 to 19 were fully immunized in Maine. While 36,418 children ages 5 to 11 received their first dose of vaccine, 28,874 children received their second dose, according to the Maine COVID-19 Immunization Dashboard.
Cumberland County has recorded the highest vaccination rate with 22,922 children aged 5-11 fully vaccinated so far. Androscoggin County has 4,383 vaccinated children, and Sagadahoc and Lincoln counties have 1,936 and 1,694 fully vaccinated children, respectively.
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