Kallie Kirchberg receiving a COVID-19 vaccine shot at Mid Coast Hospital’s Brunswick Landing clinic. Courtesy of Mid Coast Hospital

Mid Coast Hospital expects a sudden and significant increase in demand at their COVID-19 clinic at Brunswick Landing, following Gov. Janet Mills’ announcement last week that all Mainers aged 16 and over can receive the vaccine starting Wednesday.

As of Monday, the clinic has administered a total of 34,298 doses of vaccine, with 14,617 being second doses.

“I think people are encouraged and want to get vaccinated,” Mid Coast Chief Medical Officer Dr. Christopher Bowe said. “I think (the new eligibility) will dramatically expand the demand across the entire state, and I think that’ll be no different here.”

Also driving demand, Bowe said, is that out of the three vaccines, Pfizer is the only one currently approved for individuals age 16 and 17 and is currently the only one available at the Brunswick Landing clinic.

“We’ve been administering typically just the Pfizer vaccine for the last few weeks,” Bowe said. “So, we actually have an ability to vaccinate the 16 and 17-year-olds, which will add demand even further because our nearby vaccination sites that have Moderna or Johnson & Johnson won’t have the ability to.”

The clinic increased their vaccination goal from 800 to 1,000 doses a day, six days a week. That translates to a total of 6,000 vaccinations a week, split between first and second doses.

Whether that goal is met depends on the number of vaccines the clinic gets from the state. This week, Bowe said, is the first week the clinic has received 3,000 doses, whereas last week they received 2,400.

“Our biggest challenge … has just been getting the full supply,” Bowe said.

In a statement from the governor’s office on April 1, Mills announced that Mainers 16 and older will be eligible for vaccination starting this Wednesday, which was an acceleration from the previously scheduled date of April 19.

“With the Federal government significantly increasing our supply of vaccines, it is appropriate to accelerate our timeframe and make all Maine people eligible beginning next Wednesday,” Mills said.

More than 420,000 Mainers, or around 32%, have received a first dose. Around 20% are fully vaccinated.

In the last few weeks, Maine has seen a surge in COVID-19 cases and on Sunday the Maine CDC reported 295 cases of COVID-19 but no additional deaths.

Bowe said that, while seeing people “clamoring for this vaccine” brings signs of hope, he believes the CDC is “appropriately concerned” right now about the surge, noting that Mid Coast Hospital has also had an uptick in hospitalizations in the past week.

As of Monday afternoon, appointments are full at the Brunswick Landing clinic through April 17. According to Bowe, the hospital releases new appointments on Fridays between 10 a.m. and noon.

As of Monday, the Maine CDC has reported a total of 51,986 COVID-19 cases statewide and 746 deaths. In Cumberland County, the CDC has reported 14,239 cases and 186 deaths.


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