Maine will launch its first round of mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics next week in Oxford, the state announced Tuesday.
The clinic will primarily focus on reaching rural communities, who may not have as much access to vaccine providers as other parts of the state. It will use the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine and will come after Maine opens eligibility to everyone 16 and older on Wednesday.
Maine has been looking for ways to bridge disparities in vaccine access as it opens up vaccination further. It has so far funneled most of its doses to large providers including hospitals in an effort to get as many people vaccinated as possible. The method has been used by Federally Qualified Health Centers in Maine to provide vaccines to those who otherwise might have to travel long distances to get vaccinated.
The mobile clinic will begin at the Oxford Casino in Oxford on Monday and will remain there for the week. Its schedule says it will go to Windham, Biddeford, Fryeburg, Turner, Waterville, Old Town, Milbridge, Calais, Madawaska and Auburn afterward through June 12. Androscoggin, Oxford, Kennebec, Franklin and Somerset counties have the lowest rates of fully vaccinated people in the state, according to Maine data.
The clinic is the first of its kind to be run by the state and will run jointly with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, according to a Tuesday news release. An appointment will be required to get a dose. Interested Mainers will be able to find information on those appointments through the state’s website or by calling its community vaccination line at 1-888-445-4111.