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Scarborough Downs debuts as COVID-19 vaccination site

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    Scarborough Downs debuts as COVID-19 vaccination site - Derek Davis/Staff Photographer | of | Share this photo

    The first floor of the grandstand at the former Scarborough Downs racetrack is lit early Wednesday morning as workers from MaineHealth prepare for the first day of COVID-19 vaccinations at the clinic.

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    Scarborough Downs debuts as COVID-19 vaccination site - Derek Davis/Staff Photographer | of | Share this photo

    Retrofitting the former grandstand into a 30,000-square-foot clinic was a herculean effort over 15 days that involved more than 40 companies.

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    Scarborough Downs debuts as COVID-19 vaccination site - Derek Davis/Staff Photographer | of | Share this photo

    A woman raises the shades at the former grandstand building as MaineHealth prepares for the first day of a COVID-19 vaccination clinic. The vaccine clinic will be open every day except Sunday for the foreseeable future.

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    Scarborough Downs debuts as COVID-19 vaccination site - Derek Davis/Staff Photographer | of | Share this photo

    Robyn Goshorn, 73, of South Portland, gets the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine from pharmacist Andrea Lai at the vaccination clinic at the former Scarborough Downs racetrack. Robyn and his wife, Alice Goshorn, 79, agreed to be vaccinated early in the day, as part of a media availability arranged by Maine Health.

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    Robyn Goshorn heads to the observation area after receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

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    Scarborough Downs debuts as COVID-19 vaccination site - Derek Davis/Staff Photographer | of | Share this photo

    Alice Goshorn, 79, of South Portland, prepares to get her first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

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    Alice Goshorn receives a bandage after getting the vaccine.

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    JoAnne Chapman, right, takes a group of medical professionals through the process of COVID-19 vaccination during a training exercise before the clinic opened for business on Wednesday.

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    Scarborough Downs debuts as COVID-19 vaccination site - Derek Davis/Staff Photographer | of | Share this photo

    Pharmacist Corinn Martineau prepares vaccines before the opening of a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Scarborough Downs racetrack.

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    Scarborough Downs debuts as COVID-19 vaccination site - Derek Davis/Staff Photographer | of | Share this photo

    MaineHealth expected to vaccinate 115 people Wednesday. The clinic can handle up to 2,000 vaccinations a day if supplies permit.

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    Scarborough Downs debuts as COVID-19 vaccination site - Derek Davis/Staff Photographer | of | Share this photo

    Medical professionals go through the process of how to administer vaccines before the opening of the mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the former Scarborough Downs racetrack.

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    Scarborough Downs debuts as COVID-19 vaccination site - Derek Davis/Staff Photographer | of | Share this photo

    Maine and other states have been getting more doses of vaccines over the last two weeks. The state got an increase last week of 16 percent.

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    Scarborough Downs debuts as COVID-19 vaccination site - Derek Davis/Staff Photographer | of | Share this photo

    Staff are trained on the documentation of vaccine administration before the opening of the MaineHealth vaccination site Wednesday morning.

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    Scarborough Downs debuts as COVID-19 vaccination site - Derek Davis/Staff Photographer | of | Share this photo

    Next week, Maine expects to get another 5 percent increase in doses of vaccine for COVID-19, in addition to the 16 percent increase last week. As of Wednesday morning, at least 120,000 Mainers have gotten their first dose of a vaccine.

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    Scarborough Downs debuts as COVID-19 vaccination site - Derek Davis/Staff Photographer | of | Share this photo

    Dr. Heidi Wierman demonstrates how to administer the vaccine.

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    Scarborough Downs debuts as COVID-19 vaccination site - Derek Davis/Staff Photographer | of | Share this photo

    Medical professionals gather at a MaineHealth training session on Wednesday morning.

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    Scarborough Downs debuts as COVID-19 vaccination site - Derek Davis/Staff Photographer | of | Share this photo

    MaineHealth CEO Bill Caron speaks to media and guests before the opening of the mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic. Caron said the effort to establish the clinic was "all about community partnerships."

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    Scarborough Downs debuts as COVID-19 vaccination site - Derek Davis/Staff Photographer | of | Share this photo

    Maine Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew, speaking before the opening of the COVID-19 vaccination clinic, said the excitement in the grandstand was different from what the site was accustomed to over its lengthy history as a horse-racing venue. "Instead, it's the excitement of hope," she said.

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    Peter Michaud, a partner of Crossroads Holdings, the company that's redeveloping the 524-acre Downs property into housing, a business park and a town center, speaks before the opening. In a handshake deal, Michaud and the other owners agreed to renovate the building at cost and let MaineHealth operate a vaccination clinic there rent-free for six months.

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    Gov. Janet Mills has directed clinics to prioritize those age 70 and older while supply of vaccines remains limited.

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