AUGUSTA— 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.
Combined with the previous orders, Maine expects to have enough to vaccinate approximately 295,555 people in the first 12 weeks of distribution.
As of Feb. 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.
According to the Bloomberg vaccine tracker, Maine ranks 17th among states in the highest percent of first doses administered to its residents.
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).
These new vaccines come after Governor Mills announced that Maine residents age 60 and older are eligible for vaccination beginning March 3. To save lives and ensure that health care providers can efficiently and quickly vaccinate as many people as possible, Gov. Mills also announced Friday that Maine will adopt an age-based approach to expanding vaccine eligibility. The planned schedule, which is subject to change depending on fluctuations in vaccine supply including an acceleration if supply increases, is as follows:
March 3: Eligibility expands to residents age 60 and older.
April: Eligibility expands to age 50 and older.
May: Eligibility expands to age 40 and older.
June: Eligibility expands to age 30 and older.
July and beyond: Ages 29 and under, including children pending authorization of a vaccine for them.
Some people in Maine may be vaccinated outside of this schedule as a last resort option in order to prevent the extremely limited supply of vaccine from going to waste. The vaccine distribution framework will continue to evolve as vaccine supply changes and with continued input from health care providers and communities throughout Maine.