Maine to receive increase of 16,200 COVID-19 vaccine doses next week

Thu, 04/22/2021 - 4:45pm

    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 for 52,660 people to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Operation Warp Speed.

    This is an increase of 16,200 doses from the current week, 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 21,060 doses from Pfizer and 31,600 doses from Moderna for the 20th week of distribution, starting April 26.

    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.

    Maine does not expect to receive doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine next week, following the recommendation by the U.S Food and Drug Administration and U.S. CDC to pause use of that vaccine out of an abundance of caution following reports of six cases of an extremely rare and severe type of blood clot in recipients in the United States. Maine acted swiftly to redirect doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccine to sites that had planned to administer the J&J vaccine when possible to keep vaccination appointments for Maine people.

    This supply of COVID-19 vaccines will be supplemented by doses the Federal government will distribute directly to retail 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 week’s distribution.

    Combined with the previous orders, Maine expects to have enough to vaccinate approximately 772,215 people in the first 20 weeks of distribution, assuming the pharmacy chains and FQHCs get the same number of doses coming to Maine next week as this week.

    As of April 21 (week 19), 1,040,860 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been given to Mainers, including 587,037 people who have received first doses and 453,823 people who have received second doses of Moderna and Pfizer or single doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccines. Maine currently leads the nation in the percent of its population that is fully vaccinated, according to the Bloomberg tracker.

    The dashboard on Maine’s COVID-19 vaccination website shows that 44 percent of Maine residents have gotten their first doses and 34 percent have received final doses. This includes 69 percent of Maine residents age 50 and older receiving first doses and 61 percent who have received final doses.

    “Maine is leading the way in our COVID-19 vaccination effort and we thank all Maine people who have rolled up their sleeves to do their part,” said DHHS Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew. “Next week, we’ll continue our focus on equity with special pop-up clinics, the Mobile Vaccination Unit’s next stop in Biddeford, and other efforts to vaccinate rural and hard to reach populations.”

    “Our vaccination partners continue to show flexibility and resilience,” said Dr. Nirav D. Shah, Director of the Maine CDC. “We are grateful for their ongoing efforts as we continue to find new ways to vaccinate Maine people quickly and equitably.”

    All Maine residents ages 16 and older are eligible to be vaccinated. Only the Pfizer vaccine is authorized for youth ages 16 and 17 and not all vaccination sites in Maine have this type of vaccine. 

    In the 20th week of distribution, the 52,660 doses will be sent to: hospitals (34,390), outpatient providers including the mobile vaccination unit (10,170), public safety (6,100) independent pharmacies and public health nurses (1,900), and home health (100). Maine continues to work with independent pharmacies to support pop-up clinics sought by community-based groups whose members may otherwise face barriers to vaccination.

    People who need help getting 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 Community Vaccination Line does not provide faster access to appointments.

    Additionally, the Department is offering free rides to and from appointments for people who otherwise would struggle to get there. If you have an appointment and need a ride, call 1-855-608-5172 at least 48 hours in advance of your appointment.