LEWISTON — If you’re 80 or older and want a COVID-19 vaccination, St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center may have a shot for you this week.

St. Mary’s is getting 975 doses of vaccine, 144 of which will go to the B Street Health Center in downtown Lewiston for patients there. The remaining 831 will be distributed through hospital vaccination clinics Thursday and Friday.

Vaccinations are by appointment only. Hospital staff will reach out to those who qualify and who are already St. Mary’s patients. Starting at 9 a.m. Tuesday, the general public will be able to fill out a form on the hospital’s website to seek an appointment. Once the appointments are filled, the form will be removed until new slots are available.

While the state allows people 70 and older to be vaccinated, St. Mary’s is focused on those 80 and older because it has so few doses to give out.

Pharmacy Director Vahid Rohani prepares a COVID-19 vaccine Dec. 17 at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center in Lewiston. Nurses were scheduled to vaccinate over 200 St. Mary’s health care workers Thursday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

“Just with 80-plus (years old), we have 4,000 patients,” spokesman Stephen Costello said.

Not every St. Mary’s patient will get a call this week, and not everyone who fills out the form online will get an appointment right away.

Costello’s advice: “Be patient.”

“We’re getting them into arms just as fast as we can, but it really depends on the amount of doses that we get,” he said.

Meanwhile, Central Maine Healthcare said it held four “soft launch” vaccination clinics over the weekend, vaccinating more than 900 people. Spokeswoman Ann Kim said the soft launch group was made up of people allowed to get the vaccine under the state’s first phase and CMHC patients 70 and older who the health system reached out to directly

Kim said the health system alerted 7,000 CMHC patients 70 and older by email about upcoming clinics Feb. 6 and Feb. 13. CMHC also took appointments for members of the general public who happened to learn about the clinics.

The health system will give out 450 first doses on Feb. 6 and 278 doses at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston on Feb. 13. All slots are full.

Kim said CMHC has not yet determined whether it will open appointments at its Bridgton and Rumford hospitals on Feb 13.

Future clinics will be announced on CMHC’s website and social media accounts. Information about appointments and registration will be available on the website.

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