Med-Care Chief Dean Milligan, left, and Deputy Chief Paul Landry Jr., second from left, receive a $1,200 donation Wednesday from River Valley Rotary Club members, from left, Joe Sirois, Peter Cox, Jerry Cohen and Dave Duguay at the Med-Care headquarters in Mexico. The money will be used to buy necessary equipment for the ambulance service to administer COVID-19 vaccine in northern Oxford County. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times

MEXICO — A supply of COVID-19 vaccine is expected to be delivered this week to Med-Care Ambulance, selected by Maine Emergency Medical Services as one of two agencies to administer the vaccine within Oxford County.

Chief Dean Milligan said PACE Ambulance Service in Norway will handle vaccinations in the southern part of the county.

Deputy Chief Paul Landry Jr., who is spearheading Med-Care’s program, said the state is using two entities per county to carry out its distribution plan.

“We’re extremely pleased to provide this critically needed program,” Milligan said, “beginning with first responders and the at-risk population and ultimately throughout the River Valley communities and beyond when the vaccination becomes available for the general public.”

“Our absolute goal is that the day the vaccine arrives, we will be a position to begin scheduling the clinics for the emergency medical providers,” Landry said.

Equipment needed to administer the vaccine includes the purchase of a specific refrigerator to properly store the doses and specific iPads that will upload the CDC software for entering patient information and tracking.


On Wednesday, the River Valley Rotary Club donated $1,200 for equipment.

Joe Sirois said the club was contacted Dec. 21 by their district governor about the statewide plan.

“The district agreed to support all the EMS services and release funds, if the clubs could match it. This is so urgent, and we wanted to be a part of it.”

“This is a tremendous gesture on the part of the Rotary and the funds they are providing will go to immediate and critical use,” Milligan said. He said the money will pay for three of the iPads.

“We’re in it for the long haul, and there will certainly be ongoing expenses as we navigate our way through uncharted territory,” he said. “If there are other local clubs, agencies or businesses that wish to donate toward this cause, we will continue to put them to direct use toward the sustainment of this program.”

The vaccine has a 30-day shelf life, Milligan said, “So we need to be ready to go. We’re mission ready, even if the paperwork has to catch up. As long as it’s safe and we’re ready to go, we’re not going to let any of that vaccine go to waste.”


Landry said they will also use the iPads and software to make people aware of the date of their second dose, as well as send out reminders to those people. The two doses are administered 28 days apart.

“They’re telling us if we can justify the numbers with either license numbers that we have or vaccine doses that we’ve already administered as the first dose, that we will get priority shipment on anything we need for the second dose,” Landry said.

“We can’t expect everybody to be able to get here to do this vaccination, so part of our plan is to be able to be portable so that we can go to other locations, set up the clinic for their community, have everything done ahead of time, and hopefully move through as smooth as possible,” Landry said.

Maine’s COVID-19 vaccination plan

The National Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine has developed a framework for prioritizing COVID-19 vaccinations. It is under discussion in Maine. It could change based on the efficacy and order in which different candidate vaccines are approved.

Phase 1a  
• High risk health workers
• First responders


Phase 1b
• People of all ages with underlying conditions that put them at significantly higher risk
• Older adults living in congregate or overcrowded settings

Phase 2
• K-12 teachers and school staff and child care workers
• Critical workers in high risk settings, those in industries essential to the functioning of social and at substantially higher risk of exposure
• People of all ages with underlying conditions that put them at moderately higher risk
• People in homeless shelters or group homes for individual with disabilities, including serious mental illness, developmental intellectual disabilities, an physical disabilities or in recovery, and staff who work in such settings
• People in prisons, jails, detention centers and similar facilities, and staff who work in such settings
• All older adults not included in Phase 1

Phase 3
• Young adults
• Children
• Workers in industries and occupations important to the functioning of society and at increased risk of exposure not included in Phases 1 or 2

Phase 4
• Everyone residing in the United States who did not have access in previous phases

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