The Mills administration is expected to provide additional details this week about the rollout of vaccinations for Mainers age 65 and older along with other adults with high-risk medical conditions. Here is information on what we know now – and are still waiting to learn – about Phase 1B of Maine’s COVID-19 vaccination plan.

Have other questions? Email them to [email protected].

What is the current plan for vaccinating Maine residents age 65 and older?

Vaccinations of older Mainers will likely be broken up into at least two groups, starting with those age 70 and over either later this month or in early February.

Gov. Janet Mills announced last week that her administration was moving older Mainers closer to the front of the line for vaccinations as the state gradually rolls over from Phase 1A (focused on health professionals, public safety employees and long-term care homes) into Phase 1B. That transition is expected to begin before Phase 1A entirely wraps up potentially later this month, although there is significant confusion about how many vaccines states can expect to receive from the federal government.

Residents between the ages of 65 and 69 also will be included in Phase 1B, but will likely be vaccinated in a later stage after those age 70 or older. Timing depends on the pace of vaccine delivery to Maine and administration to patients.

Additionally, adults of all ages with high-risk medical conditions also will be eligible for vaccination during Phase 1B. Specifics have yet to be announced, however, and the Mills administration has suggested that older residents within those high-risk groups or people who have more than one pre-existing condition might be given first priority. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention maintains a list of medical conditions that could put people at higher risk of serious illness or death from COVID-19. Those include cancer, coronary artery disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), obesity and chronic kidney disease.

I’m in those groups. How will I know when I can get vaccinated?

Stay tuned for specifics.

The Mills administration and the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention are expected to announce more details this week on the Phase 1B vaccination plan for older Mainers and those with high-risk medical conditions. Doctors or health provider networks will likely play a major role in notifying patients. But state officials are asking people to wait before calling their doctor’s office.

In the meantime, the Office of the Governor of Maine has published a list of 18 vaccination providers and their locations. The website states that the locations “are now accepting or preparing to accept appointments for Mainers age 70 and older,” and a few of the locations are offering preregistration.

That website is: www.maine.gov/covid19/vaccines/vaccination-sites

What is the anticipated timing for the state’s vaccination phases?

These can (and will) change, depending on dose deliveries from the federal government and how efficiently the state’s vaccination campaign is operating. But here are the latest estimates as of Monday:

Phase 1A (medical professionals, public safety workers, COVID-19 response personnel, long-term care homes): through the rest of January.
Phase 1B (Mainers 70 and older, followed by adults with high-risk medical conditions, 65- to 69-year-olds and some essential workers): starting in late-January or early February into April.
Phase 1C (other critical workers not included in Phase 1B): May and June
Phase 2 (everyone else age 16 and older): June and into summer

I’m a seasonal Maine resident who is still here, but my primary care physician is in another state. Can I get vaccinated here?

Unfortunately for seasonal residents, the answer to this question appears to be no, although it’s still not entirely clear.

Earlier this month, Maine CDC officials said the issue was “the subject of ongoing discussion” given the sizable number of mostly older seasonal residents who opted to stay in Maine over the winter. But a question on the Maine CDC’s “frequently asked questions” page about whether residents of other states can get vaccinated in Maine states the following:

“Not at this time. Maine is receiving an extremely limited supply of vaccine based on the number of Maine residents,” reads the post.

That could change if the state starts receiving larger shipments of vaccine. But deliveries have, to date, been smaller or slower than originally anticipated.

As with everything else, check with your doctor or health care professional about your circumstances.


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