Home Health News State opening 2 mass vaccination clinics in southern Maine as supply grows to 55,000 doses this week

State opening 2 mass vaccination clinics in southern Maine as supply grows to 55,000 doses this week

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With COVID-19 vaccine shipments from the federal authorities surging, Maine is opening up two further mass vaccination websites this week – one on the Portland Expo, the opposite on the former Marshalls division retailer in Sanford.

Maine Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew, Portland Mayor Kate Snyder, Northern Light Mercy Hospital President Charlie Therrien and others gave the media a tour of the Portland Expo web site on Monday. Northern Light Health, the identical health system working the mass vaccination clinic at Cross Insurance Center in Bangor, will function the positioning and plans to open it Tuesday.

The Sanford location additionally will open Tuesday and can be run by MaineHealth, the guardian community of Maine Medical Center in Portland, which manages a mass web site at Scarborough Downs.

At this time of 12 months, the multipurpose Portland Expo is often used for Red Claws basketball video games and center faculty observe meets. On Monday, it was as a substitute embellished with indicators in seven totally different languages – English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Khmer, Arabic and Lingala – to inform sufferers of the mass vaccination web site.

“We are thrilled that the vaccinations that begin in the Portland Expo (on Tuesday) will prevent suffering, save lives, and – over time – remove this city and state from the clutches of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Lambrew mentioned.

The commissioner added that Maine is planning to open much more mass immunization clinics, together with in the Lewiston-Auburn space and Oxford County, as vaccine provides proceed growing. The state is predicted to obtain greater than 55,000 vaccine doses this week, together with 15,000 doses of the newly licensed Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The new vaccines doses from J&J can be distributed to 4 smaller hospitals, impartial pharmacies, public security companies and outpatient practices.

Maine is opening up eligibility to residents 60 to 69 this week as part of the new age-based strategy for vaccinations that was introduced Friday. To date, the state has been prioritizing health care employees and first responders, as properly residents 70 and older.

The Portland Expo clinic initially can be open Tuesdays and Thursdays and can accommodate up to 500 folks per day. All appointments for this week are already booked, Northern Light officers mentioned.

Alicia Paquette, the ER director at Mercy Hospital and the positioning director on the new Northern Light Mercy Hospital’s neighborhood vaccination clinic contained in the Portland Expo, leads members of the media on a tour of the power on Monday. The hospital is opening the mass vaccination clinic in partnership with the state and the City of Portland. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

“We anticipate ramping up to include more days per week, and to go from 500 per day to 1,000 per day,” Therrien mentioned.

Northern Light is also opening a smaller location on the Maine Mall in South Portland, inside the previous Pier 1 retailer, beginning on Wednesday.

Snyder mentioned the Portland Expo web site is necessary as a result of it is going to present entry to a various inhabitants, together with many minority populations, as properly as being handy for individuals who don’t drive.

“We want to the public to be able to access this vaccination site, whether they are walking, biking or riding the bus,” Portland’s mayor mentioned.

The Portland Expo consists of stations arrange for sufferers to validate their appointments, check-in, obtain their vaccine and wait 15 minutes after the shot is given to test for allergic reactions. The complete course of ought to take about 30 minutes, officers mentioned. The vaccination stations had been arrange Monday with provides of gloves, gauze, bandages and antiseptic merchandise. A cordoned-off space with a small fridge will serve as the realm the place the vaccine is drawn up.

The Sanford location will serve as the primary mass vaccination web site in York County, which has been lagging behind different Maine counties in the state’s inoculation program, regardless of York County’s comparatively massive inhabitants. Through Monday, 14.35 % of York County residents had obtained at the very least the primary dose, in contrast to 19.1 % in Cumberland County.

Maine health officers reported 128 new circumstances of COVID-19 on Monday and one further demise. Monday’s numbers proceed a development of decrease case counts since a surge across the winter holidays. The seven-day common is now 167 circumstances, down barely from 183 two week in the past and down from 357 this time final month. Cases peaked at greater than 600 circumstances per day, on common, in mid-January.

Since the pandemic reached Maine almost one 12 months in the past, there have been 44,762 confirmed or possible circumstances of COVID-19 and 703 folks have died with the virus.

The variety of folks hospitalized in Maine with COVID-19 dropped to 62 on Monday, the bottom whole since Nov. 11. Of these, 20 had been in crucial care and eight had been on ventilators. The variety of hospitalizations has been falling steadily since peaking at 207 on Jan. 13.

As circumstances and hospitalizations fall, vaccinations have continued to ramp up. The state may administer greater than 55,000 photographs this week alone, almost triple the 18,000 doses per week from a month in the past. As of Monday, 228,724 folks had obtained their first dose, about 17 % of the state’s inhabitants, whereas 121,566 folks, or 9 %, had been totally inoculated.

Maine already was scheduled to receive 39,060 doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccine earlier than the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Saturday issued emergency use authorization to a 3rd COVID-19 vaccine, made by Johnson & Johnson. The state positioned an extra order of 11,500 doses however realized Monday that its allocation had been elevated to 15,000. Officials additionally introduced that an additional 1,000 doses of Moderna vaccine could be arriving this week.

“We welcome the newly authorized Johnson & Johnson vaccine,” mentioned Dr. Nirav D. Shah, director of the Maine CDC. “It adds an important tool in our efforts to vaccinate Maine people most at risk of death or severe symptoms from COVID-19.”

 


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