MaineCDC Director Sets Record Straight on “Release” of COVID-19 Vaccine


Governor Janet T. Mills, 73,  Receives her First Dose of the COVID-19  Moderna Vaccine at the Blaine House, Augusta, This Morning.  It was Administered by James Jarvis, MD, Exactly One Month After the First Person in Maine Received a First Dose.

Governor Janet T. Mills Following Her Vaccination by Dr. Jarvis at the Blaine House, Augusta, This Morning.

Earlier this week, Dr. Nirav Shah, Maine CDC Director, was advised by US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex M. Azar Jr., that in an effort to get more vaccine into the arms of people faster, the inventory would be released and distributed  to help states “turn up the dial.”

However, Dr. Shah learned this morning there are no reserve doses sitting on shelves.  “I am concerned about todays news, but not surprised,” said Dr. Shah.  The vaccine reserve had already been depleted when Secretary Azar announced it on Tuesday.

For the second time, Dr. Shah said that he is disappointed with Walgreens Pharmacy slowness in vaccinating people.  He has said previously it could be because of the Pharmacy’s lack of staff to administer the vaccine.  Dr. Shah has authorized that 975 doses be relocated from Walgreens to an independent pharmacy in Bangor that will administer them to a qualifying facility “to speed up the process.”  Dr. Shah and his staff have been looking for appropriate sites elsewhere in the state besides chain pharmacies where the vaccine can be administered.

In conclusion of the daily briefing this afternoon, Dr. Shah remembered the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. when he said:  “What are  you doing for others?  “Remember that what affects one person directly affects all.”

Briefings on the COVID-19 will be held on Tuesday and Thursday at 2:00 pm beginning next week.  They are subject to last minute changes.  Briefings may be viewed on public television.