PORTLAND, Maine — MaineHealth announced Friday that it would shift its COVID-19 vaccination efforts to adolescents and younger adults, phasing out a mass vaccination site at Scarborough Downs in favor of in-school vaccination clinics.
The first school clinics are set to open next week at Poland Regional High School and Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School, MaineHealth spokesman John Porter said in a release.
MaineHealth plans to open a vaccination clinic for students ages 16 and older on Tuesday, May 11, at Poland Regional High School, and on Thursday, May 13, at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in South Paris.
"With much of the population aged 60 and over now vaccinated, the demand for access at mass vaccination clinics has started to wane as younger adults seek options that fit within busy schedules," the release said.
“We’ve reached a point in the vaccination effort where we need to adjust to meet people where they are,” Joan Boomsma, chief medical officer of MaineHealth, said in the release. “That means redeploying our resources to meet the needs of this younger population in different ways.”
In addition, the federal government is expected to approve next week the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for use in adolescents age 12-15.
The Scarborough Downs mass vaccination clinic will close by May 20. No decision has yet been made about two other MaineHealth sites in Sanford and Brunswick, according to the release.
Until May 20, the clinic at Scarborough Downs will offer vaccinations to those who have made appointments online or are scheduled for a second dose, and will offer walk-in vaccinations from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday, May 10-Thursday, May 13, and Monday, May 17-Thursday, May 17.
To make an appointment for a vaccination or get information about walk-in vaccinations, click here or call 877-780-7545.
MaineHealth is coordinating additional clinics at middle and high schools throughout its service area.
“Our goal is to get into the schools soon enough so that we can schedule second doses for students ahead of the end of the school year,” Boomsma said in the release.