Lead nurse Sharon Daley (right) and nurse Maureen Giffin (left) prepare syringes for COVID-19 vaccination. (Courtesy Maine Seacoast Mission)

Even as the number of clinics that offer the COVID-19 vaccine has grown, some Mainers still face challenges getting access. Sometimes the barrier is no internet connection. Sometimes it’s finding a ride. And for some communities, it’s miles of ocean.

Residents of Maine’s islands face unique hurdles in their efforts to get vaccinated, but a Maine nonprofit that’s now over a century old is bringing doses out to them.

As the mail boat to the Cranberry Islands pulls away from the dock at Northeast Harbor on a recent morning, it carries a stack of packages for island residents. But on this particular morning, there’s another piece of especially precious cargo — a Styrofoam cooler, nestled into a reusable shopping bag.

Sharon Daley drapes a protective arm over the top and constantly checks a device that resembles an iPhone. It’s actually a thermometer, because the cooler contains 50 doses of the temperature-sensitive Moderna vaccine.

“This is a new system, so we’re getting used to how much Styrofoam to put in, and how much bubble wrap,” she says. “Some of it’s just anxiety to make sure we’re doing it right, so I just keep checking it.”

Read the rest of the story at Maine Public’s website.