More than 55,000 vaccine doses arriving in Maine this week

Mon, 03/01/2021 - 7:30pm

    AUGUSTA — The Maine Department of Health and Human Services announced Monday the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) has placed its first order for doses of the newly authorized Johnson & Johnson one-shot COVID-19 vaccine for 11,500 people to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Operation Warp Speed.

    Additionally, the Maine CDC learned Sunday the federal government will supplement the state allotment by sending an additional 3,500 Johnson & Johnson doses to another Maine entity that will be announced shortly. Another 1,000 doses of Moderna vaccine will be sent to Penobscot Community Health Care, a federally qualified health center that is vaccinating underserved populations.

    Altogether, this means 55,060 Pfizer and Moderna first doses and, in the case of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, only doses will arrive in Maine this week – more than double the doses available two weeks ago. This does not count the second doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccine that are also arriving.

    Maine CDC's order reflects the maximum number of doses available to Maine for new vaccines.

    Combined with the previous orders, Maine expects to have enough to vaccinate approximately 295,555 people in the first 12 weeks of distribution, including the U.S. pharmacy and FQHC distributed doses.

    As of February 28, 349,840 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been given to health care workers, long-term care residents and staff, and older Mainers, including 228,274 people who have received first doses and 121,566 people who have received second doses.

    The dashboard on Maine’s COVID-19 vaccination website shows that 17 percent of Maine residents have gotten their first doses. This includes 66 percent of Maine residents age 70 and older.

    According to the Bloomberg vaccine tracker, Maine ranks 17th among states in the highest percent of first doses administered to its residents.

    "We are committed to using this new vaccine supply quickly to protect those most at risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19 in Maine," said DHHS Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew. "The one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine opens new doors to doing so."

    "We welcome the newly authorized Johnson & Johnson vaccine,"said Dr. Nirav D. Shah, Director of the Maine CDC. “It adds an important tool in our efforts to vaccinate Maine people most at risk of death or severe symptoms from COVID-19.”

    The 11,500 doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine that Maine can allocate will be sent to hospitals (3,300), independent pharmacies and public health nursing clinics to vaccinate hard-to-reach older Mainers (2,700), emergency medical services for public clinics (3,000), and outpatient sites (2,500).

    Doses going to some locations will be distributed to a consortia of sites, specifically in Washington, Aroostook, and northern Penobscot counties. Special clinics will also vaccinate people in Somerset and York counties this week, with more on the way.