Ann McKenney of Lewiston gives Craig Castonguay of Auburn a COVID-19 vaccine recently at the Auburn Mall. McKenney is a volunteer at the mass vaccination site. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

LEWISTON — There are now even more opportunities to get vaccinated in Androscoggin County with the addition of walk-in appointments at Central Maine Healthcare’s Auburn Mall mass vaccination site and a new mobile vaccination unit in Lewiston.

CMHC announced Thursday that it would begin accepting walk-in appointments the following day in addition to scheduled appointments.

“We are delighted to offer this additional convenience to individuals 16 and older and to Maine residents and non-residents alike,” Central Maine Medical Group Vice President and Chief Operating officer Amy Lee said in a statement.

As of earlier this week, providers at the Auburn Mall site have administered 25,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, Lee said. To make an appointment, visit cmhc.org or call 520-2917.

Also on Thursday, Maine Department of Health and Human Services announced that a new mobile vaccination clinic at the Oak Street municipal parking area in Lewiston will be launched Friday. The clinic is in collaboration with the state, city of Lewiston and Promerica Health of Falmouth.

The clinic will offer both walk-in and scheduled appointments on Friday from noon to 5 p.m. and May 10 through May 14. The clinic will have evening hours on May 11 until 7 p.m. and early morning hours May 12 and May 14 starting at 7 a.m.

The announcement did not say which vaccine will be offered, only that it is for individuals 18 and older. Pfizer-BioNTech is the only COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in 16- and 17-year-olds at this time.

To make an appointment, visit vaccinateME.maine.gov or call the Community Vaccination Line at 1-888-445-4111.

The mobile vaccination unit operated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in partnership with the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention will wrap up its tour at the Boofy Quimby Memorial Center in Turner on Friday before moving on to the Waterville Lafleur Airport in Kennebec County.

FEMA spokesperson Patrick Boland said the unit vaccinated 165 people with the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine Wednesday.

State health officials reported Thursday that 48.2% of all Mainers had received their first shot of the vaccine and 41.38% have gotten their final dose. In Androscoggin County, 41.3% have received at least one shot and 34.79% have gotten their second. The county’s numbers increase to 51.2% and 43.1% when considering the number vaccinated out of only the population eligible to receive the vaccine.

Still, Androscoggin County ranks 10th out of Maine’s 16 counties for getting first shots into arms and 13th for final doses. Oxford and Franklin counties are also trailing behind. Only 47.9% and 46.6% of all residents in the two counties have gotten their first shot. Those numbers drop to the low 40s for final inoculations.

The state reported 318 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday, including 57 in Androscoggin County, 19 in Oxford County and 10 in Franklin County. There were two deaths, both women from Cumberland and Oxford counties. One was in her 60s and the other was 80-plus. On Wednesday, another woman in her 60s died. She was from Androscoggin County.

Statewide, 129 people are hospitalized as of Thursday, a decrease of three from Wednesday. 49 patients are in critical care and 23 are on ventilators. The central and western Maine counties’ hospitalization rates remain on par or lower than the statewide rate of 3%.

After experiencing a slight dip last week following a surge in cases in April, the seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases in Androscoggin County crept up again this week.

On Thursday, the seven-day average was 63.6 new cases. The seven-day average hit an all-time high on April 20, when the county reported an average of 90.4 new cases. The numbers dropped to an average of 51 new cases on April 30 and May 1 before starting to rise again.

The one-week change in the seven-day average is 17% in Androscoggin County. Compared to one week ago, the state’s seven-day average of new cases also increased by 7% Thursday.

Androscoggin County still has the highest case rate per 10,000 residents in the state, besting the statewide average by about 230 cases. As of Thursday, the county had a cumulative total of 7,555 cases per 107,679 residents, according to statistics provided by the Maine CDC, for a case rate of 701.6 cases per 10,000 residents.

Oxford County has the third highest rate in the state, with 580.5 cases per 10,000 residents. Franklin County is sixth and has 420.4 cases per 10,000 residents. Statewide, there are 472 cases per 10,000 residents.


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