A Portland-based pharmacy school will hold a vaccination clinic at the Bangor State Fair when it opens Thursday amid a statewide rise in COVID-19 cases.
Students and pharmacists from the University of New England School of Pharmacy will team up with Northern Light Health to administer the Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson vaccines at the fair on Thursday and Friday.
As health officials look for methods to increase vaccination rates, they have made use of entertainment venues to offer COVID-19 vaccines, including at Portland Sea Dog games and during Bangor Pride’s stationary parade in June. Clinics have also occurred at concerts and fairs elsewhere in the country.
About 69 percent of Mainers eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine are now fully vaccinated, meaning that there are still more than 300,000 who are not vaccinated, according to Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention data. About 50,000 of those people are in Penobscot County.
Though Maine has one of the highest vaccination rates in the nation, COVID-19 cases have begun to rise in the state amid the spread of the delta variant of the virus. The delta variant represented more than 60 percent of Maine virus samples tested in July, according to the Maine CDC.
The 2021 Bangor State Fair will take place at Bass Park in a condensed form from Thursday through Sunday. It will feature rides, games and food vendors, but not other typical attractions, including the demolition derby, live music and a petting zoo, though organizers say they plan to have the full nine-day fair in 2022.