Melody Hill receives Franklin Memorial Hospital’s first COVID-19 shot, given by fellow nurse Taffy Davis on Monday in Farmington. Submitted photo

FARMINGTON — Just hours after Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine made its way to Franklin Memorial Hospital, nurse Melody Hill was rolling up her sleeve, ready to be the first of the hospital’s care team members to be inoculated.

Five hundred doses of the vaccine arrived Monday morning, and approximately 40 employees were vaccinated, according to Jill Gray, communications, marketing and fund development director for Franklin Memorial.

Hill, a Winthrop resident who works in the medical/surgical unit, received her shot at about 1:15 p.m., the hospital announced in a press release.

Immediately after receiving the shot from fellow nurse Taffy Davis, Hill smiled and said, “Now we’re one step closer for this to be over,” according to the release.

Neither Franklin Memorial nor its parent company, MaineHealth, are making the vaccine mandatory, stated the release. Vaccination is strongly encouraged because company senior leaders feel it is the best strategy to keep health care staff safe and able to continue to provide patient care until the pandemic gets under control.

The hospital’s vaccination plan is based on CDC guidance regarding prioritization.

“Whether staff are scheduled to receive the vaccine tomorrow or next week I am confident we have enough to vaccinate staff who want it that are involved in patient care or support patients care by the end of next week,” Franklin Memorial Senior Director of Quality and Safety Barbara Sergio said in the release.

Staff will need to receive a second dose 28 days after their first shot for the vaccine to be fully effective. A MaineHealth task force has been working to set up vaccine clinics across its system in an effort to vaccinate care team members as quickly as possible, according to the release.

Gray said that Franklin Memorial is not expected to be receiving the Pfizer vaccine — which has been used at other hospitals around the state — at this time.

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