The news that the FDA has granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the Johnson & Johnson single-shot vaccine late today prompted the following response from Governor Janet Mills early this evening:
“The authorization of Johnson & Johnson vaccine is another step forward in our fight against the pandemic and comes at the right time as we expand eligibility to those 60 and older next week,” said Governor Mills in a press release issued by her office.
“As soon as we receive our allotment, we will work with the health care providers to get these vaccines into the arms of Maine people as quickly and as efficiently as possible. My most fundamental goal is to save lives and this new, one-shot vaccine will help us accomplish that. Today, I am grateful to scientists who made this breakthrough possible and to Maine people who continue to do their part to stem the tide of this pandemic by wearing their masks, watching their distance and avoiding large gatherings.
The Maine Department of Health & Human Services and the MaineCDC will soon place its first order for 11,500 doses of the newly authorized Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. These doses are expected to arrive alongside the previously ordered 39,060 first doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccine as part of Week 12 of the vaccination effort.
These 11,500 doses will be distributed to new clinics in York County, allow Redington Fairview Hospital in Farmington to expand access in Somerset County and allow coalitions of health care providers to vaccinate older Mainers in Washington, Aroostook and northern Penobscott counties. Complete details of the distribution will be posted on Maine’s COVID-19 vaccination website on March 1, 2021.
Altogether, Maine will receive 50,560 doses the week of March 1st. Compared to the Week of February 15, clinics will be able to nearly double the number of Maine people who can get their first or, in the case of Johnson & Johnson vaccine, only dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
When taken with previous orders and when combined with doses provided through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, Maine expects to have enough vaccine to vaccinate approximately 291,055 people in the first twelve weeks of distribution.
For information on Governor Mills Approach to Age-Based Vaccine Eligibility, please visit post herein dated February 26, 2021.