Skip to main content

Governor Janet Mills, Maine CDC Director Nirav Shah visit Scarborough Downs Vaccination Clinic

March 05, 2021

SCARBOROUGH, Maine – Governor Janet Mills and Nirav D. Shah, M.D., director of Maine’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) toured the MaineHealth COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the former Scarborough Downs harness racing track Friday. MaineHealth Chief Medical Officer Joan Boomsma, M.D., walked them through the 30,000-square foot building so they could see first-hand how the clinic is safely and efficiently vaccinating thousands of Maine residents each week.

“Large vaccination sites like Scarborough Downs are a critical part of the State’s effort to get shots in the arms of Maine people as quickly as possible,” said Governor Mills. “The dedicated staff and volunteers at MaineHealth are doing a superb job ensuring this enormous undertaking is going smoothly and that people feel comfortable and well-taken care of throughout. I am grateful to MaineHealth for their ongoing efforts and look forward to working with them and health care providers across the state to vaccinate as many Maine people as quickly as possible.”

While visiting the clinic, Gov. Mills and Dr. Shah met with patients as well as some of the approximately 125 clinicians and volunteers who staff the clinic each weekday. Visitors to the clinic are able to check-in, receive a clean mask and fill out the paperwork for their vaccine up to 15 minutes before their appointment. After receiving their shot, they are led to comfortable chairs, where they are monitored for 15 minutes before making an appointment for their second vaccine at check out.

“Clinics like the one at Scarborough Downs make it possible to get more shots into arms quickly and safely, while providing a framework for even higher daily volumes of vaccinations when federal supplies increase,” said Dr. Shah. “It’s encouraging to hear from patients that the experience of being vaccinated at Scarborough Downs has been positive for them.”

More than 4,200 people are expected to receive their first dose of vaccine at the Scarborough clinic next week. The clinic has operated from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. Monday-Friday since it opened a month ago. With vaccine supplies to MaineHealth increasing this coming week, there will be enough vaccine for Scarborough to be open six days a week beginning next week.

“We are grateful to our care team members and community volunteers who have built the capacity to administer over 28,000 shots a week at sites throughout our service area,” Dr. Boomsma said. “As gratifying as it has been to hear from the many older Mainers who have had positive experiences at our clinics, we know there are many more people eager to get vaccinated. We look forward to being able to meet that demand as the supply of vaccine to Maine increases.”

Vaccines at the Scarborough Downs clinic are available by appointment only. MaineHealth is currently offering vaccine appointments at clinics across the state to people 60 and older in accordance with Maine’s COVID-19 vaccination plan. Patients seeking a vaccination can pre-register by calling the MaineHealth COVID-19 Vaccine Assistant at 1-877-780-7545. More information about how to get a vaccine through MaineHealth is available on the MaineHealth website.

Photos and video of the governor’s visit to the Scarborough Downs COVID-19 vaccine clinic is available for download here.

Janet Mills at vaccine clinic


About MaineHealth:
MaineHealth is a not-for-profit integrated health system consisting of nine local hospital systems, a comprehensive behavioral healthcare network, diagnostic services, home health agencies, and more than 1,700 employed and independent physicians working together through an Accountable Care Organization. With close to 22,000 employees, MaineHealth is the largest health system in northern New England and provides preventive care, diagnosis and treatment to 1.1 million residents in Maine and New Hampshire. It includes Franklin Memorial Hospital/Franklin Community Health Network in Farmington, LincolnHealth in Damariscotta and Boothbay Harbor, Maine Behavioral Healthcare in South Portland, MaineHealth Care at Home in Saco, Maine Medical Center in Portland, Memorial Hospital in North Conway, N.H., Mid Coast-Parkview Health in Brunswick, NorDx in Scarborough, Pen Bay Medical Center and Waldo County Hospital in Rockport and Belfast, Southern Maine Health Care in Biddeford and Sanford, Spring Harbor Hospital in Westbrook and Stephens Memorial Hospital/Western Maine Health Care in Norway. MaineHealth Affiliates include Maine General Health in Augusta and Waterville, New England Rehabilitation Hospital in Portland and St. Mary's Regional Medical Center in Lewiston. It is also a significant stakeholder in the MaineHealth Accountable Care Organization in Portland.

News from Around MaineHealth

View All
MaineHealth Expands Walk-in Vaccination Availability at Scarborough Downs Clinic
MaineHealth announced today an expansion of its walk-in COVID-19 vaccination offerings at the Scarborough Downs clinic, for Maine residents 18+.
Maine Track Celebration Honors Class of 2021
This marks the 13th year of the Maine Track partnership between Maine Medical Center and Tufts Medical School
MaineHealth Starting Walk In Vaccinations at Scarborough Downs Clinic
Walk-ins available May 3, 4, from 7 a.m. – 6 p.m
Initial Tally Shows Maine Medical Center Nurses Supporting Union Representation
MMC had encouraged nurses to vote against unionization, as it believes working directly with its care team members is the best way to build on the organization’s success as the region’s premier health care provider.
MMC receives a Spring 2021 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade of ‘A’
This marks the second time in a row Maine Medical Center has earned an ‘A’ grade from the independent evaluator of health care quality and safety.
Walk-in option for COVID-19 vaccination added at six MaineHealth clinics, including Sanford and Scarborough
New scheduling options are being created in response to shifts in the supply and demand for COVID-19 vaccines in Maine.
Maine Medical Partners Ortho and Sports Medicine Opens New Practice in Windham
The new practice on Roosevelt Trail is open for walk-ins and patients of all activity levels.
MaineHealth Care at Home offers first vaccinations to its homebound patients
MaineHealth Care at Home has begun the process of distributing the COVID-19 vaccine to eligible homebound patients receiving services with the agency, becoming one of the first organizations in the state to offer this accommodation for home health patients.
Senator Collins Visits MaineHealth Vaccination Clinic at Scarborough Downs
On Friday, U.S. Senator Susan Collins visited MaineHealth’s high-volume vaccination clinic at Scarborough Downs for a tour of the facility led by MaineHealth CEO Bill Caron. The tour was joined by WEX CEO Melissa Smith, whose company helped provide volunteers for the clinic.
Maine Medical Center begins to ease restrictions on visitation of non-COVID patients
The new policy is effective Wednesday, March 17, and allows for one visitor daily from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. in inpatient areas.