As Scarborough Downs Vaccine Site Closes, Its Workers Reflect On Giving More Than 87,000 Shots
After administering more than 87,000 shots, MaineHealth is closing its high volume COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Scarborough Downs.
For those who worked and volunteered at the clinic, the end is bittersweet. And while it may seem like vaccinations are winding down, MaineHealth says it's gearing up for the next phase.
At its peak, the clinic administered nearly 1,700 doses in a single day. Staff and volunteers kept it running 12 hours a day, five-to-six days a week.
Louise Baca, senior director of oncology at Maine Medical Center, says she administered hundreds of doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
"I've been able to vaccinate children, teens, adults, and seniors. And that has been very special for me. I was able to vaccinate my mother, my cousin, my sisters and my husband. So that for me was really special," she says.
Many volunteers came from local businesses that partnered with MaineHealth.
Danielle Flanagan, who usually works in customer service at L.L. Bean, volunteered at the clinic four days a week, greeting people and helping them with paperwork.
"Originally I thought I was just going to help a couple times. And then that feeling of helping others is so great. And you know, your feet are killing you, and you have to get up the next day to be here at 6:30 in the morning to be ready and stand on your feet all day. It is worth it. It is so worth it. I'd do it again in a heartbeat," she says.
The clinic was slated to deliver its last dose around 5:30 on Thursday.
Wendy Osgood, vice president of Adult Medicine and Emergency Services at Maine Medical Center, says it marks the end of one chapter and the beginning of another. With about 55% of eligible Mainers having received a final dose, there's more work to do.
"We are planning next phases. So this week, for example, we are out at schools. So we are doing a lot of the 12-to-17-year-olds in the schools," she says.
Osgood says MaineHealth is also exploring ways to reach adults under 40 at places that draw a younger crowd such as music and entertainment venues.