Cathy Godwin, left, and Tony Lafreniere prepare medical supplies Tuesday before students arrive for the COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Poland Regional High School. The first dose of vaccine is being offered to students Tuesday and Thursday from 8-11 a.m. Godwin is a nurse for Stephens Memorial Hospital in Norway. Lafreniere is a pharmacy student at the University of New England. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

AUBURN — The Auburn Mall COVID-19 clinic will begin vaccinating 12-to-15-year-olds Wednesday. The shots are free.

The announcement by Central Maine Healthcare on Tuesday afternoon comes one day after the Food and Drug Administration authorized the Pfizer vaccine for those 12 to 15 years old.

The clinic is open Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

“We’re delighted to be rolling out this option,” Amy Lee, vice president and chief operating officer of Central Maine Medical Group, said in an email. “The authorization of the Pfizer vaccine for ages 12 and older is exciting news.”

It’s an important step toward returning to normalcy, “defeating the virus and helping families return to the things they love, like getting together with loved ones,” she said.

By being vaccinated “kids could be fully protected for the summer activities that make it so fun to be this age,” Lee said.

“This is a huge announcement,” Lewiston School Superintendent Jake Langlais said as he looks forward to how schools will run in the fall. He envisions offering to send students in Lewiston Public School vans to the Auburn Mall to get them vaccinated.

“The approved vaccine from Pfizer is the only vaccine allowed for the 12-15 group,” Langlais said. “In our area, these vaccines go to the Auburn Mall site.”

The Lewiston School Department can help with transportation using school vans, hosting clinics if appropriate, or creative scheduling with summer vaccine efforts, Langlais said. “However we can help, we will. My goal is to be back to school each day of the week, in-person, in a safe way.”

The clinic “will be collaborating with superintendents, schools and other community partners” to help vaccinate youth ages 12-15, according to spokeswoman Ann Kim.

Vaccinations are available to Maine residents and nonresidents alike.

Individuals coming to the Auburn Mall high-volume clinic should bring their identification and insurance card, if they have one.

Minors must have parental consent and be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian, according to Central Maine Healthcare. To make an appointment or for more information, go to cmhc.org or call CMHC’s COVID-19 vaccine call center at 207-520-2917.

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