Dr. Daniel Onion injects Kaylee Rocque of Sidney with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine June 13 at the Mount Vernon Community Center. Augusta firefighters James Baldwin, left, and Lt. John Robertson provide shots for other scheduled appointments and walk-ins as Mount Vernon Rescue volunteer Leslie Grenier keeps an eye on patients and cleans recovery chairs. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal file

AUGUSTA — As part of its effort to make the COVID-19 vaccine available to communities with lower-than-average vaccination rates in Kennebec and Somerset counties, MaineGeneral Health has confirmed plans to offer mobile vaccination clinics this month in Norridgewock, Albion, Clinton and China.

MaineGeneral recently held mobile clinics at the Readfield Transfer Station for residents of Fayette, Readfield and Wayne. The clinics were open from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., and six staff members were on hand to administer the Pfizer vaccine. Only three doses were given, according to organizers.

Joy McKenna, marketing and communications director for MaineGeneral Health, said officials were not sure why the turnout was so low or what they expect for interest in the pop-up vaccination clinics planned for this month.

McKenna said MaineGeneral began contacting communities about mobile clinics shortly before discontinuing mass vaccination clinic at the Augusta Civic Center, which had seen a steady decline in demand since it peaked in March, with almost 6,000 doses administered in a week.

“The mobile, one-day clinics would be located near where people live or work,” McKenna said in June. “The clinics enable MaineGeneral to work with community organizations that local citizens have a relationship with already, which we believe can help get the word out and attract people to get their vaccinations.

“We are partnering with local agencies, community organizations or municipalities to accomplish our shared goal of getting as many people vaccinated as possible.”

MaineGeneral has been in contact with 17 communities with lower-than-average vaccination rates to establish the following dates and times for pop-up vaccination clinics at four locations:

• Thursday, July 8: Norridgewock Fire Station, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

• Thursday, July 15: Albion Town Hall, noon to 4 p.m.

• Thursday, July 22: Clinton Fire Station, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

• Saturday, July 24: China Town Office, 8 a.m. to noon.

As of early last week, Norridgewock’s vaccination rate was 62%, Albion’s 58%, Clinton’s 56% and China’s 68%, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control & Prevention.

As of last Thursday, 64,549 people (52.78%) in Kennebec County and 23,438 (46.43%) in Somerset County had received their final doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to health officials.

“It’s very important to do whatever we can to ensure that barriers to vaccination are reduced,” McKenna said. “We are happy to continue to work with communities across our region to offer vaccinations close to where people live, work and play.”

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