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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.

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