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Maine CDC director tours Northern Light mass vaccination clinic

Maine's two mass vaccination sites could vaccinate thousands each day if the federal government could provide that much vaccine, officials said

BANGOR, Maine — Maine Center for Disease Control Director Dr. Nirav Shah toured a mass vaccination clinic at the Cross Insurance Center Saturday and praised Northern Light Health for a "remarkable" operation.

The Bangor clinic and a second operated by MaineHealtth at Scarborough Downs could each vaccinate thousands of people each day if that much vaccine was provided, but Maine has received just more than 20,000 doses at most each week.

RELATED: Mass vaccination clinic at Scarborough Downs opens Wednesday

Shah was greeted with applause and thanks as Dr. James Jarvis of Northern Light Health's incident command walked him through the clinic.

Noting specifically its accessibility, Shah said, "Statewide, we're trying to make vaccines as available to everybody as we can, and we know that one of the ways to do that is via high-throughput sites like this, and being able to come to a place that's easy to access, with ample parking, and to get in and out in 15 or 20 minutes ... that's exactly the way the state of Maine is going to move toward vaccinating everybody that wants to be vaccinated."

Four hundred vaccinations were scheduled Saturday, primarily second doses for healthcare workers and first responders, Northern Light Health said in a release. They expect the site to be able to provide as many as 5,000 vaccinations each day once enough vaccine is available.

MaineHealth opened the state's second mass vaccination clinic Wednesday at Scarborough Downs.

Northern Light spokeswoman Karen Cashman said approximately 900 vaccinations are expected at the Cross Center clinics Tuesday and Thursday, as well as more than 900 on Saturday.

The Cross Insurance Center clinic opened Tuesday and vaccinated 769 people age 70 and older, with another clinic Thursday providing vaccinations to 948 more people, the release said.

Only those with appointments will be vaccinated. For information about registering for an appointment, visit the Northern Light Health COVID-19 website or call 207-204-8551.

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