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Scarborough Town Council approves plans for mass vaccination site

The Scarborough mass vaccination site is set to open today.

SCARBOROUGH, Maine — The Scarborough Town Council voted unanimously to approve a mass gathering permit for a mass vaccination site at the former Scarborough Downs.

The owners of the former horse track are donating the use of the facility's grandstand to MaineHealth.

The plan is to eventually have more than 100 MaineHealth employees and volunteers on-hand to be able to vaccinate at least 1,000 people per day. MaineHealth said because of a shortage of the COVID-19 vaccine, the site will open Wednesday, February 3, and will start off with having five vaccinators on site, who will see six patients per hour.

"The volume is quite low. Our plan is to continue a slow ramp up over the course of the next several weeks. Much of it will be determined by vaccine available to us, but also improve very much so, in terms of just looking at the flow, the exterior of the building, the interior of the building, and are we able to meet patient needs," said Monica Russo of MaineHealth.

A 40-member construction team managed by Scarborough’s Maine Properties and Risbara Brothers Construction will work seven days a week in order to complete the clinic. The construction teams will build clinical workspaces, improve access to high-speed broadband and build out refrigeration rooms needed to house the vaccines.

The site is expected to operate for at least six months.