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Central Maine Healthcare starts administering Moderna vaccine to hospital staff

The Maine CDC said more nearly 6,000 Mainers have been vaccinated for COVID-19 thus far.

RUMFORD, Maine — The Moderna vaccine is already being administered in hospitals and nursing facilities in Maine. 

Health care workers at Rumford Hospital received their first doses Tuesday. 

Central Maine Healthcare (CMHC) got its first shipment of the Moderna vaccine Monday, just days after the FDA authorized it for emergency use nationwide. 

According to CMHC officials, more than 550 health care workers across all three of its hospitals in Lewiston, Bridgton, and Rumford have received the vaccination so far.

"Everyone's pretty excited about it," emergency room nurse Brittany Gallant told NEWS CENTER Maine after she received the vaccine. "I think we'll be better protected to keep our patients safe and the families we go home to as well."

Both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are being used—both requiring two rounds of shots.

Staff members who care for inpatients are the focus of the health system's efforts in the next month.

"The arrival of the coronavirus vaccine brought a lot of joy and hope to Central Maine Healthcare team members who have been working tirelessly and heroically through these long months of the pandemic," Dr. John Alexander, Chief Medical Officer said in a statement Monday. 

The state has received at least 13 doses of the vaccines. The CDC said more nearly 6,000 Mainers have been vaccinated.

About half are being administered at long term care facilities.