We are working around the clock to get as many people vaccinated against COVID-19 as quickly as possible.
Right now, more than 387,000 people in Maine have gotten their first dose of the vaccine – almost 29 percent of our total population, almost 18 percent fully vaccinated. Two out of three Maine residents 60 and older are now protected with at least one dose. And Maine is among the top states in the nation in percentage of population fully vaccinated.
Hello, this is Governor Janet Mills and thank you for listening.
As we make progress with vaccines, and as more appointments become available and with an increase in supply in the coming weeks, it is appropriate to accelerate our vaccination timeline and make more people eligible.
This past week, Maine people age 50 and older became eligible. And in just a few weeks — on April 19th — all Maine residents age 16 and older will be eligible for the vaccine.
While this is good news, Maine people should keep in mind that, even when they do become eligible, it might still take some time to get an appointment.
Whether you are eligible or not, you may pre-register on Maine CDC’s new pre-registration website at VaccinateME.Maine.gov.
By pre-registering, you’ll be notified about vaccine appointment options when it’s your turn.
Many vaccination sites let you pre-register with them directly too. If this is an option at the site you want to choose, you can sign up both through the vaccination site and through VaccinateME.Maine.gov.
As we expand eligibility, we are also expanding our ability to deliver shots.
We stood up large-scale vaccination sites – in Portland, Sanford, and Auburn — and they are prepared to expand their capacity to get shots into arms with the increase in the supply of vaccine we expect from the Federal government.
We expanded vaccines and vaccinations in rural and hard-to-reach communities and for Maine people who are homebound as well. Independent pharmacies and EMTS are visiting independent senior living communities to vaccinate residents on-site, and public health nurses are holding clinics throughout the state for at-risk people who cannot easily travel to large community vaccination clinics.
This week we also took the first step in our Moving Maine Forward Plan to protect public health and support Maine’s economy during the busy spring and summer tourism season.
Starting March 26th, capacity for indoor gatherings — that is for theatres, restaurants and churches and other spaces — was increased to 50 percent. Capacity for outdoor gatherings was increased to 75 percent. Maine bars and tasting rooms were also allowed to reopen, with public health/safety precautions.
With more than a quarter of all Maine people having received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, we are making pretty good progress. But we have got to keep our foot on the gas and get more people vaccinated.
This is a race between vaccines and variants, and we don’t want the variants to invade our state and make people sick and put them in the hospital as has happened in other states.
Got to keep our foot on the gas, keep people getting vaccinated, keep people alive and healthy, and get back to normal sooner.
Summer is fast approaching and the finish line is on the horizon.
I urge all Maine people to keep doing the basic things that keep us healthy. Get a vaccine if you’re eligible. Please, don’t hesitate. It is safe.
Together, we will get through this and get our state and our economy back on track.
In the meantime, please keep the faith and stay safe.
This is Governor Janet Mills and thank you for listening.