AUGUSTA — The Maine Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) is preparing to place an order for first doses of Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and single doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccine, for 35,190 people, to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Operation Warp Speed.
This is an increase of 1,170 doses, not counting doses controlled by the federal government sent directly to certain pharmacies and clinics.
Maine CDC's order reflects the maximum number of new doses available to Maine for distribution.
Maine CDC's order, expected to arrive early next week, will comprise 19,890 doses from Pfizer, 13,700 doses from Moderna, and 1,600 doses from Johnson and Johnson for the 15th week of distribution, starting March 22. Additionally, vaccination sites continue to receive and administer the second dose for individuals vaccinated with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines through a separate distribution process.
This supply of COVID-19 vaccines will be supplemented by doses the federal government will distribute directly to Walmart/Sam's Club pharmacies, Walgreens pharmacies, Hannaford pharmacies, and selected federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) in Maine. The number of doses sent to such facilities is typically determined at the end of the week prior to the following weeks distribution.
Combined with the previous orders, Maine expects to have enough to vaccinate approximately 434,655 people in the first 15 weeks of distribution, assuming the pharmacy chains and FQHCs get the same number of doses next week as this week.
As of March 17 (week 14), 545,102 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been given to Mainers, including 341,842 people who have received first doses and 203,260 people who have received second doses of Moderna and Pfizer or single doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccines.
The dashboard on Maines COVID-19 vaccination website shows that 25.4 percent of Maine residents have gotten their first doses and 15.1 percent have received final doses. For just first doses, this includes 77 percent of Maine residents age 70 and older and 49 percent of residents age 60 to 69.
"Maine has made tremendous progress in vaccinating its older residents," said DHHS Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew. "This coming week, we will work with partners to reach those who may struggle to get vaccinated: people who are new residents of nursing homes, who are homebound, and who are on MaineCare."
"We continue to make progress in vaccinating Maine residents who are most at risk of dying or suffering severe symptoms of COVID-19," said Dr. Nirav D. Shah, Director of the Maine CDC. "As our federal partners work toward increasing weekly allocations to a point when more Maine people can be vaccinated each week, we can keep each other safe by wearing masks in public, washing hands often, and physical distancing."
Currently, Maine residents age 60 and older are eligible to be vaccinated. Additionally, Maine residents who are educators, school staff, and child care workers can get vaccinated.
In the 15th week of distribution, the 35,190 first doses, and final doses in the case of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, will be sent to hospitals (30,020), outpatient groups (4,170), the Maine CDC Public Health Nursing program (700), Maine Department of Corrections (200), and home health (100).
In addition to direct federal allocation, Federally Qualified Health Centers will receive 1,400 doses to help vaccinate eligible people in underserved communities. Maines efforts to vaccinate older residents include the Public Health Nursing Program, which is working with long-term care facilities to vaccinate new residents and staff, and coordinating with home health agencies and others to vaccinate residents who are homebound.
Earlier this week, Maine DHHS announced that residents who don't have access to the internet or otherwise struggle to get an appointment can call the Community Vaccination Line at 1-888-445-4111. It is available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Translation services are available through this line. Deaf and hard of hearing individuals may dial 711 and ask to be connected to the number above. The Vaccination Line does not provide faster access to appointments.