Maine to receive less vaccine doses next week

Thu, 04/08/2021 - 2:30pm

    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 36,690 people, to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Operation Warp Speed.

    This is a decrease of 18,100 doses, not counting doses controlled by the federal government sent directly to certain pharmacies and clinics.

    “Our federal partners told us to expect fluctuations in week-to-week vaccine allocations," said Dr. Nirav D. Shah, Director of the Maine CDC. “As we adapt to those fluctuations, we remain committed to vaccinating Maine people quickly and equitably every week.”

    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, 14,300 doses from Moderna, and 2,500 doses from Johnson and Johnson for the 18th week of distribution, starting April 12.

    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 week’s distribution.

    Combined with the previous orders, Maine expects to have enough to vaccinate approximately 662,473 people in the first 18 weeks of distribution, assuming the pharmacy chains and FQHCs get the same proportion of doses coming to Maine next week as this week.

    As of April 7 (week 17), 823,593 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been given to Mainers, including 483,292 people who have received first doses and 340,301 people who have received second doses of Moderna and Pfizer or single doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccines.

    The dashboard on Maine’s COVID-19 vaccination website shows 36 percent of Maine residents have gotten their first doses and 25 percent have received final doses. This includes 66 percent of Maine residents age 50 and older receiving first doses and 47 percent who have received final doses.

    "With shots in the arms of two-thirds of residents age 50 and older, Maine has begun to vaccinate younger residents," said DHHS Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew. "We urge patience yet persistence in getting an appointment next week when the supply is lower than this week.”

    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 coming days, the list of vaccination sites will indicate which ones are able to vaccinate youth.

    In the 18th week of distribution, the 36,690 doses will be sent to: hospitals (30,520), outpatient groups (5,670), independent pharmacies and Public Health Nurses (400), and public safety (100). Most of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine distribution will be dedicated to the new mobile vaccine unit that will open in Oxford on April 12. 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 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.