MaineHealth, owner of Pen Bay Medical Center and Waldo County General Hospital, will begin setting vaccination appointments for those who are newly eligible, given the state’s recent lowering of age requirements to 60 and older.
Beginning March 3, Maine residents aged 60 and above will be eligible for vaccination. Previously, Mainers aged 70 and older were eligible to receive the vaccine.
MaineHealth operates a high-volume vaccination clinic in Scarborough and also has vaccination clinics in Belfast, Brunswick, Boothbay, Farmington, Norway, Rockport, Westbrook and Sanford.
As of Friday, MaineHealth had given at least a first dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to more than 40,000 Mainers aged 70 and older.
MaineHealth has created the physical infrastructure and identified the staffing needed to administer as many 25,000 doses of COVD-19 vaccine per week, but a limited supply of vaccine has constrained those efforts. For example, MaineHealth administered only about 8,500 first doses of the vaccine in each of the past two weeks. To date, MaineHealth has injected 96 percent of the doses it has received within seven days, with the remaining 4 percent lagging due to winter storms.
So far, more than 120,000 individuals have pre-registered in the MaineHealth system. As this next phase opens up, MaineHealth will prioritize Maine residents 70 and older who have already pre-registered in its system, and those individuals will be contacted to schedule vaccination appointments before residents who are 60-69. However, it is expected that MaineHealth will be able to begin scheduling vaccination appointments for residents 60 and over this week.
Those who have not already pre-registered for an appointment are encouraged to do so by calling the MaineHealth virtual vaccine assistant at 877-780-7545.
Once someone has completed the telephone pre-registration process, they will receive periodic automated messages to confirm their status. Even if someone’s phase isn’t yet active, they will be contacted once they are eligible.
MaineHealth has been continuously updating the capabilities of its registration system. Mainers can also now call the virtual vaccine assistant at 877-780-7545 to:
• Verify their information is in the system.
• Cancel or change an existing appointment.
• Remove one’s self from the pre-registration list and automated message system.