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FEMA mobile vaccine clinic coming to Fryeburg, casino | Health News

FRYEBURG, Maine — A Federal Emergency Management Agency mobile vaccination clinic will be at the Fryeburg Fairgrounds from April 30-May 3 to provide the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine against COVID.

The clinic is part of a partnership between the state and FEMA to offer the vaccine in rural and under-served communities.

Appointments will be required.

The first place to host the mobile clinic will be the Oxford Casino in Oxford, Maine, which will start offering the vaccine on Monday, April 12, through Friday, April 16. To check appointment availability there, call (888) 445-4111.

According to the office of Maine Gov. Janet Mills, information on appointments at the other stops will become available on the state vaccination website, maine.gov/covid19/vaccines, in the coming days.

Over the next two months, the mobile unit will also be visiting places like Windham, Biddeford, Auburn and Calais. The unit will spend three to five days at each site.

As of Wednesday, Maine had expanded vaccine eligibility to all residents age 16 and older.

In North Conway, Memorial Hospital officials said they have begun notifying their more than 800 patients who live in Maine about the mobile unit.

Memorial President Art Mathisen said the hospital will use its MyChart patient web portal as well as letters to give those patients “the finer details of that vaccination clinic.”

Mathisen said: “The bottom line is, the more we can make getting vaccinated easy and people don’t have to drive very far, the better and the more people are going to get vaccinated.”

The mobile vaccination unit (or MVU) is only the second of its kind in New England. It is expected to vaccinate at least 250 people per day.

“This mobile vaccination clinic is another important tool for our state as we work to get shots into arms as fast as we can,” said Gov. Mills in announcing the partnership. “The clinic will complement our existing vaccination efforts well and allow people in rural communities to more easily get the vaccine.”

“We’re excited to partner with the state of Maine on this joint effort to provide a vaccine to people in America who want one,” said Paul Ford, acting regional administrator and federal coordinating officer for COVID-19 in FEMA Region 1.

“The ability for this unit to travel to hard to reach populations and meet people where they are is a great asset to support the residents of Maine and continue the fight against COVID-19,” he said.

The Mills Administration requested FEMA’s support with Maine’s vaccination efforts after the Biden administration committed to deploying federal resources to assist states with delivering the vaccine.

The 11 communities were determined by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Maine Emergency Management Agency and FEMA in part based on the CDC’s Social Vulnerability Index, which uses 15 U.S. census variables to help local officials identify communities that may need support before, during, or after disasters.

To date, 463,662 Maine people have received their first dose of the vaccine — more than 41 percent of Maine people age 16 and older, with more than 28 percent being fully vaccinated.

Maine is currently fourth best nationwide for the percentage of its population with at least one dose of vaccine and ranks fifth best nationwide for the percentage of its population fully vaccinated.

Here is a list of dates and places for the FEMA mobile vaccination unit: April 12-16: Oxford Casino, 777 Casino Way, Oxford; April 18-22: Windham Mall, 795 Roosevelt Trail, Windham; April 24-28: Biddeford High School, 10-20 Maplewood Ave., Biddeford;  April 30-May 3: Fryeburg Fairgrounds, 1154 Main St., Fryeburg; May 5-7: Boofy Quimby Memorial Center, 96 Howes Corner Road, Turner; May 9-12: Marden’s Surplus and Salvage, 458 Memorial Drive, Waterville; May 14-17: Old Town Police & Fire Departments, 150 Brunswick St., Old Town; May 19-22: Milbridge Marina, Bay View Road, Milbridge; May 24-27:Thomas Dicenzo Athletic Complex, Calais Ave., Calais; May 29-June 2: Madawaska Multi Purpose Center, 160 7th Ave., Madawaska; June 9-12: Downtown Auburn Transportation Center, Great Falls Plaza, Auburn.