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Mass COVID-19 vaccination site to open at Auburn Mall in mid-March

Community vaccination clinics will continue at Bridgton Hospital and Rumford Hospital.

AUBURN, Maine — Central Maine Healthcare, the state of Maine, the city of Auburn, and the city of Lewiston are launching a regional mass COVID-19 vaccination site at the Auburn Mall on March 17.

The high-volume vaccination site is the first to open in Androscoggin County. Vaccination will be available to Maine residents in accordance with Maine’s age-based eligibility approach.

After a ramp-up period, the site will have a goal of vaccinating 1,000 people a day and, if vaccine supplies are sufficient, operating three to five days a week for six months. During that timeframe, the site is expected to administer as many as 145,000 doses if vaccine availability allows.

“We are thrilled that this critical resource will get more vaccine into the arms of Maine people quickly and efficiently,” Jeffrey Brickman, FACHE, president and CEO of Central Maine Healthcare, said. “By working together with our partners, this high-volume vaccination site will have a powerful impact in the fight against the pandemic. It’s a wonderful example of the community coming together to protect the people we are privileged to serve.”

Vaccinations at the site will be available by appointment only. To check availability, book an appointment, or find out more about high-volume vaccination site, visit cmhc.org or call the Central Maine Healthcare COVID vaccine call center at 207-520-2917.

RELATED: How to schedule an appointment to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Maine

Vaccinations will take place at the center court of the mall. The entrance will be through the south entrance leading directly to the center court.

“The entire Auburn team stands ready to help protect our community in any way we can,” Auburn Mayor Jason Levesque said. “Androscoggin County’s vaccination rate is lagging behind the rest of the state, so we are extremely pleased to be working with these exceptional community partners to make this site a reality. Its central location will make it quick, simple and safe for our friends, neighbors and family members to protect themselves.”

“With the announcement of the opening of a high-volume vaccination site at the Auburn Mall, our community is one step closer to a return to normalcy,” Lewiston Mayor Mark Cayer added. “Local healthcare providers have planned and worked collaboratively to bring this to fruition; although work is ongoing to assure accessibility and equity for our community’s senior citizens and our underserved populations. I’m confident we will identify fair access to the vaccination for all residents of this region.”

RELATED: WATCH LIVE 1 PM: Maine CDC holds Tuesday coronavirus briefing

Central Maine Healthcare says its vaccination clinics at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, Bridgton Hospital, and Rumford Hospital have prepared the health system well for the high-volume operation. The system, for example, administered a total of 1,269 does at Central Maine Medical Center and Bridgton Hospital on Feb. 27. In all, the system has administered nearly 16,000 doses to more than 10,000 people within the constraints of vaccine and resource availability.

In addition to operating the high-volume site at the Auburn Mall, community partners are coordinating to ensure that vaccination efforts reach all members of the community. Central Maine Healthcare, municipal and state leaders are working with Androscoggin County Emergency Management Agency, St. Mary’s Health System and Tri-County EMS.

With the opening of Auburn Mall site, Central Maine Healthcare will pivot resources from the clinics at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston to the high-volume site. Community vaccination clinics will continue at Bridgton Hospital and Rumford Hospital.

Volunteers, both clinical and non-clinical, and donations, both financial and in-kind, can support COVID-19 efforts such as the high-throughput clinic. Please visit cmhc.org/how-to-help for more information.