Clinic launched by Central Maine Healthcare, Auburn, Lewiston and State of Maine a “beacon of hope” that administered more than 65,400 doses

AUBURN – The regional high-volume COVID-19 vaccination site launched by Central Maine Healthcare, the City of Auburn, the City of Lewiston, and the State of Maine is marking a full year of operations Thursday and its administration of more than 65,400 doses of lifesaving vaccine. 

The clinic located at the Auburn Mall is the longest continuously operating site in Maine, thanks to strong partnerships, community support and countless hours put in by volunteers and team members of committed organizations.

At the end of Wednesday, 65,499 doses had been administered by the team at the Auburn Mall. On Thursday, the site winds down its operations. 

“Exactly one year ago, we came together with the single-minded focus of protecting our communities from the coronavirus through vaccination. It was an amazing day filled with hope and anticipation,” said Steven G. Littleson, DBA, FACHE, president and CEO of Central Maine Healthcare. “Today, I look back on the joy and peace of mind that this site provided over the past year and I am filled with gratitude for the unflagging dedication of Mainers who battled the pandemic here. This awesome achievement is truly theirs.” 

The site operated through changes in eligibility requirements, new variants like delta and omicron and surges in cases and hospitalizations. It scaled up and down based on demand, administering at times more than 1,300 doses in a single day. 

“The entire City of Auburn is proud and thankful of the work done by so many people from a variety of organizations to keep our residents safe,” said Auburn Mayor Jason J. Levesque. “They came together under adverse conditions to put the well-being of others ahead of their own.” 

In addition to operating the site at the mall, the partners coordinated to ensure that vaccination efforts reached all members of the community. Central Maine Healthcare and leaders from Auburn, Lewiston and the State of Maine worked with Androscoggin County Emergency Management Agency, St. Mary’s Health System, Tri-County EMS, the National Guard, the Auburn Mall and other community partners.

“The vaccine clinic at the Auburn Mall is a testament to Central Maine Healthcare’s commitment to the community during this pandemic. I am extremely grateful to their team members and the staff from other organizations who have operated the clinic over the past year,” said Lewiston Mayor Carl L. Sheline.

Maine National Guard members and an army of volunteers from the community and from Maine Responds were vital to the site’s operations. Some with clinical backgrounds gave shots or handled vaccine. Others worked in roles ranging from screening people and monitoring patients during their observation periods to entering information into computers and keeping supplies stocked.  

“The Auburn Mall vaccination clinic has been a beacon of hope for the past year,” said Nirav D. Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. “Providing more than 65,000 shots for residents of Auburn, Lewiston and nearby communities represents a monumental achievement. We are deeply grateful to Central Maine Healthcare, dozens of Maine Responds volunteers and other local partners who made this Herculean effort possible.”