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MaineHealth updates vaccination process

People 60 to 69 can register starting next week
Feb 26, 2021

MaineHealth announced Feb. 26 its updated registration procedures for receiving a COVID-19 vaccination at one of its clinics now that the state announced it will expand eligibility to those 60 and older.

The state announced that beginning March 3, Maine residents aged 60 and older will be eligible for vaccination. Previously, Mainers aged 70 and older were eligible to receive the vaccine.

“Clinical studies show that age is the strongest predictor of hospitalization and death from COVID-19, and we support the governor’s decision to expand vaccination eligibility to those aged 60 and over,” said Joan Boomsma, the chief medical officer of MaineHealth.

“The incidence of serious illness and death increases with age, and prioritizing in this way is a straightforward and sound way to allocate vaccine to those most at risk.”

MaineHealth, the state’s largest integrated health system, operates a high-volume vaccination clinic in Scarborough and also has vaccination clinics in Belfast, Brunswick, Boothbay, Farmington, Norway, Rockport, Westbrook and Sanford.

As of Feb. 26, MaineHealth gave at least a first dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to more than 40,000 Mainers aged 70 and older.

MaineHealth has created the physical infrastructure and identified the staffing needed to administer as many 25,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine per week, but a limited supply of vaccine has constrained those efforts. For example, MaineHealth administered only about 8,500 first doses of the vaccine in each of the past two weeks.

To date, MaineHealth has injected 96% of the doses it has received within seven days, with the remaining 4% lagging due to winter storms. So far, more than 120,000 individuals have pre-registered in the MaineHealth system. As this next phase opens up, MaineHealth will prioritize Maine residents 70 and older who have already pre-registered in its system, and those individuals will be contacted to schedule vaccination appointments before residents who are 60 to 69.

However, it is expected that MaineHealth will be able to begin scheduling vaccination appointments for residents 60 and over within the coming week.

Those who have not already pre-registered for an appointment are encouraged to do so by calling the MaineHealth virtual vaccine assistant at 877-780-7545. Once someone has completed the telephone pre-registration process, they will receive periodic automated messages to confirm their status. Even if someone’s phase isn’t yet active, they will be contacted once they are eligible.

MaineHealth has been continuously updating the capabilities of its registration system. Mainers can also now call the virtual vaccine assistant at 877-780-7545 to:

•Verify their information is in the system.

•Cancel or change an existing appointment.

•Remove one’s self from the pre-registration list and automated message system.

“We know waiting for an opportunity to get vaccinated can be stressful and frustrating for many,” said Boomsma.

“We are doing all we can to speed vaccine into waiting arms and bring an end to this pandemic. We appreciate everyone’s patience, and remind people, even those who have been vaccinated, to be vigilant. Wear a mask. Stay distanced. Wash your hands frequently. Remember, we are in this to win this."

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Comments (2)
Posted by: Joanne Lee Richards | Mar 01, 2021 13:07

I received my first shot on Friday at the Samoset and the entire process was well done and quick. The signage was great, the staff were efficient and friendly and I even got to catch up with a high school classmate who was there for her shot. We are indeed fortunate to have such dedicated staff and at such a convenient location. Thank you Maine Health.

Posted by: Jane Conrad | Feb 27, 2021 09:35

The vaccination clinic at the Samoset is remarkably efficient, staffed by helpful and friendly healthcare professionals and volunteers.  We are so fortunate to have this clinic in our community, and to the Samoset for allowing MaineHealth to use this comfortable space for such a purpose.

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