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Health

UMaine System Launches Campaign To Get Students Vaccinated

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umaine.edu
An aerial view of the University of Maine in Orono.

The University of Maine System is encouraging students to get the COVID-19 vaccine. During a virtual launch of its "This is our shot, Maine" campaign on Tuesday, several students encouraged their peers to get vaccinated.

"Our population tends to have the mentality that we'll be fine until someone close to us or if we get it personally, then we realize how serious it is. And at that point, it's kind of too late," says Orono senior nursing student Candace Doughty, who says she got vaccinated back in February. "So I think it's important for us to be vaccinated to reduce its incidence so everything can get back to normal like we desperately want it to."

University of Southern Maine student Connor Blake says he's relieved to have an appointment after getting the disease in November and isolating for 18 days.

"Currently I'm booked at a site in Fairfield," he says, "which is like an hour and half north of me, but I don't care. Those 18 days were long enough. And I just want this thing to be done with."

University officials say they want as many students as possible to get vaccinated prior to commencement on May 8, to prevent them from inadvertently bringing COVID-19 back to their home communities. They say they’re taking steps to make it as easy as possible for students to get to community vaccination clinics, including offering transportation.

Currently, 73 people in the University system have tested positive for the disease in the past two weeks.

Starting Wednesday, anyone 16 and older in Maine will be eligible for vaccination.