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Health Officials Prepping For Mass Vaccination At Bangor's Cross Insurance Center

Jennifer Mitchell
Maine Public
Northern Light Health's Dr. James Jarvis gives a tour of the mass vaccination site at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor on Monday.

Northern Light Health plans to vaccinate 900 people on Tuesday at its first mass vaccination clinic, at a site at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor that has been set up to accommodate at least 2,000 people.

“So that’s way more than we’re actually vaccinating, so it allows for them to bring their family members, it allows for us to have that social distancing that we need to do,” says Dr. James Jarvis, leader of Northern Light’s incident command, who led a press tour of the vaccination site Monday.

Jarvis says the whole process, from beginning to end, should take about 40 minutes, including a mandatory 15 minute observation period to ensure that a patient experiences no adverse reactions to the shot. Those with a history of allergies will be required to remain an additional 15 minutes longer.

Northern Light plans to go ahead with Tuesday’s clinic regardless of the weather.

“We know this is Maine, weather will happen. And so we don’t want to get into the habit of having to reschedule clinic after clinic. We know at some point we will be doing this daily, so pushing it down the line is just not an option for us,” Jarvis says.

He says those with an appointment who can make it in despite the snowstorm should do so. Those who cannot travel must call to reschedule for the next clinic, currently planned for Thursday.

“Then that vaccine is still held in check for you. We can’t do that indefinitely. That’s not fair to anybody else that’s awaiting vaccine,” Jarvis says.

He says all appointments that are confirmed have a dose available, and that no doses will be allowed to go to waste.

The clinic will remain active until all Mainers have been vaccinated — likely into the summer.