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'Why take a chance' | Hundreds attend monkeypox vaccine clinic in Ogunquit

Local Roots Health Care hosted the walk-in clinic Friday afternoon at the Dunaway Community Center.

OGUNQUIT, Maine — Hundreds of people came to the Dunaway Community Center in Ogunquit on Friday to take part in a walk-in monkeypox vaccine clinic. 

The clinic, hosted by Local Roots Health Care, ran Friday afternoon and was open to people 18 years and older that are gay, bisexual, transgender, and men who have sex with men, as well as those with multiple sexual partners. 

"This time around the majority of cases are among men who have sex with men, and the mission of public health to reduce the possibility of wider spread is to work to vaccinate and prevent further spread among the group that is currently most at risk," Kyle Holmquist, a family nurse practitioner with Local Roots Health Care, said.

Holmquist said Local Roots Health Care is a monkeypox vaccination site in York County at its Kennebunk location. Holmquist adds that Local Roots Health Care was able to offer a no-appointment clinic through a working partnership with the Maine CDC

"Supply is improving, so we felt confident that we would have plenty of vaccines even with hundreds of folks showing up today," Holmquist said.

Hundreds did in fact show up on Friday. While NEWS CENTER Maine did not record inside of the vaccination site to protect the identities of those choosing the get vaccinated, a number of people who did get vaccinated shared why they wanted to get one.

"For the protection, and [I] certainly don't want to get and spread it," Rick Coco, an Ogunquit summer resident, said. "This was very well organized. In, out, done."

South Berwick resident Brian Patterson said he wanted to go because of the convenience of a walk-in clinic and the growing number of cases around the country.

"I saw there was a clinic and I thought, why take a chance, go out and get a vaccine," Patterson said. "It was kind of like with COVID. They give you a little piece of paper that allows you to come back in 30 days to get the second shot." 

Wells resident Chris O'Brien works at Maine Street, a popular LGBTQ-friendly bar in Ogunquit.

"I'm around a lot of people, and I want to be responsible for my health first of all and for everybody else," O'Brien said. 

According to the Maine CDC website, there are five permanent monkeypox vaccination sites:

Androscoggin

  • Maine Family Planning, 179 Lisbon St., Lewiston, ME 04240, 207-922-3222.

Cumberland: 

  • City of Portland STD Clinic, 39 Forest Ave., Portland, ME 04101, 207-756-8067.
  • Gilman Street Clinic, 48 Gilman St., Portland, ME 04102, 207-661-4400.
  • Greater Portland Health, 100 Brickhill Ave. Suite 301, South Portland, ME 04106, 207-874-2141.

York: 

  • Local Roots Health Care, 12 Depot St., Kennebunk, ME 04043, 207-569-2021. Schedule your appointment here.

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