Governor Janet Mills, the first woman Governor of Maine, announced today that Maine is accelerating the timeline of its vaccination plan to make more people eligible for COVID-19 vaccines earlier than previously.
Beginning Tuesday, March 23, 2021, Maine residents age 50 and older will be eligible for the vaccination. Beginning Monday, April 19, 2021, all Maine residents age 16 and older will be eligible for vaccination. The accelerated timeline comes as some Maine vaccine providers are reporting availability of appointments and as Maine anticipates an increase in vaccine supply from the Federal government.
“Maine has been working around the clock to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible. As we continue to make progress and with more appointments being available and an increase in supply expected expected in the coming weeks, we believe it is appropriate to accelerate our timeline and make more people eligible earlier,” said Governor Janet Mills in a press release issued earlier today. “While this is certainly welcome news, Maine people should keep in mind that, even tough they may be eligible, it still may take time to get an appointment and get shots into arms. We will continue to work with vaccine providers across Maine to expand our ability to deliver shots and we are pleased that we will be able to take this important step forward.”
In announcing Maine’s age-based vaccination approach on February 26, Governor Mills said the timeframe should be accelerated. Vaccination for residents aged 50 and older was previously scheduled to begin on April 1, 2021 and for all adults on May 1, 2021.
The vaccine schedule is now as follows:
MARCH 3: Age 60 and older; MARCH 23: Age 50 and older; APRIL 19: All Maine residents age 16 and older.
As with all changes in eligibility, it will take some time for some vaccine clinics to begin to schedule appointments and administer COVID-19 vaccines. Some vaccine sites may now begin accepting appointments for residents aged 50 and older, while others are preparing to offer appointments in the coming days. To find a vaccination site, visit the State’s vaccination website.
To date more than 352,000 Maine people have received their first dose of this vaccine. – more than 26% of our population, with nearly 16% being fully vaccinated. To date, approximately 64% of Maine people age 60 or older have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, with 35% completing the vaccine series. Maine currently ranks 5th best nationwide for the percentage of its population fully vaccinated.
The Mills Administration continues to take steps to expand the availability of the COVID-19 vaccination in Maine, including standing up large-scale vaccination sites – most recently in Portland, Sanford and Auburn – that are prepared to expand their capacity to get shots into arms with an increase in the supply of vaccine from the Federal government.
Despite having the oldest median age population in the country, Maine, adjusted for population, ranks third lowest in total number of COVID-19 cases and fourth lowest in number of deaths from COVID-19, according to the US CDC. The state’s seven-day positivity rate is the fourth lowest in the nation, according to Johns Hopkins testing tracker. Additionally, according to Moody’s analytics and CNN Business’s “Back to Normal Index,” Maine is best in New England in returning to pre-pandemic economic activity.