FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Mo Ramsey, Washington County Democratic Committee
For more information, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
(current March 4)
On March 2, President Biden announced he is directing all states to prioritize school staff and child care workers for COVID-19 vaccination. He is challenging states to get teachers, school staff, and workers in child care programs their first shot by the end of March. To help states do that, the federal pharmacy program will prioritize vaccinating all school staff and child care workers during the month of March. In addition to their existing state and local COVID-19 vaccination sites, by the end of the week, teachers and staff in pre-K-12 schools and child care programs will be able to sign up for an appointment at over 9,000 pharmacy locations participating in the nationwide program.
On March 3, Governor Janet Mills announced that her Administration will align Maine’s age-based vaccination plan with President Biden’s recent directive to make eligible pre-K-12 school staff and child care providers, regardless of age.
“I share the President’s desire to vaccinate school staff and child care workers as quickly as possible, just as I want to see all Maine people vaccinated as quickly as possible,” said Governor Janet Mills. “Based on the President’s directive, we are updating our plan today to make school staff and child care workers eligible. We will continue to work day and night with our health care providers to get shots into as many arms as possible, as quickly as possible, focusing our efforts on those most at risk of dying if they contract the virus.”
Under the new Federal policy, participants in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program – which includes certain Hannaford, Walgreens and Walmart pharmacies in Maine – are directed to give access to available appointments exclusively to school staff and licensed child care workers moving forward. School staff and child care workers should first check the websites of retail pharmacy partners for vaccine availability. It may take time for appointments to become available. Maine school staff and child care providers are encouraged to view Maine’s COVID-19 website (https://www.maine.gov/covid19/vaccines) for the most up-to-date information on locations accepting appointments.
Maine is also adopting the new Federal policy’s definition of school staff and licensed child care workers, which is workers at pre-primary, primary, and secondary schools, Head Start and Early Head Start programs, including teachers, staff, and bus drivers and those who work as or for licensed child care providers, including center-based and family care providers. Vaccine sites will ask Maine residents for proof of eligibility. For these workers, proof of employment can include an employee ID card, a paystub, or a letter from the employer.
According to the Maine Department of Education and the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, an estimated 36,400 school staff and 16,000 child care providers become newly eligible under this directive, aside from the 10,632 school staff over the age of 60 already eligible under the Governor’s age-tiered system.
“We are undertaking the largest mass vaccination effort in history, and I am grateful to Maine people for their understanding and patience as we make adjustments to reflect the latest science and get shots into arms as quickly as we can,” said Governor Janet Mills.
Age-based eligible individuals may still also make vaccine appointments at one of Maine's vaccination sites. All sites require an appointment. Already scheduled appointments made by people 60 and older will not be canceled. Vaccinations are planned to proceed consecutively through the age groups identified in the phases below. Vaccinations may not always occur precisely in this order due to the need to maximize all of the doses Maine receives.
Vaccine Age-based Eligibility The age-based planned schedule, which is subject to change depending on fluctuations in vaccine supply including an acceleration if supply increases, is as follows:
· March 3: Maine residents age 60 and older
· April: Maine residents age 50 and older
· May: Maine residents age 40 and older
· June: Maine residents age 30 and older
· July and beyond: All ages, including children pending authorization of a child vaccine
Per Maine CDC, as of March 4, sites in Washington County scheduling the vaccines are listed below. Most sites are open only to that medical facility’s patients:
· Calais Regional Hospital – Public - visit www.calaishospital.org/covid-19/ to register for an appointment.
· Down East Community Hospital – Public - preparing to begin scheduling appointments. Public visit www.dech.org/Covid-Vaccine/About-DECH or call 207-255-2599 for information.
· East Grand Health Center-Danforth – EGHC-D Patients only. Patients will be notified of eligibility to receive the vaccine.
· Eastport Health Care Inc. – EHC Patients only. Patients will be notified of eligibility to receive the vaccine. For more information, visit www.eastporthealth.org or call 207-853-6001.
· Harrington Family Health Center –HFHC Patients only. Patients will be notified of eligibility to receive the vaccine.
· Lubec Regional Medical Center – LRMC Patients only. Patients may call Terry Rier at 733-1090, extension 5203.
· St. Croix Family Health Center – SCFHC Patients may call 207-796-5503 to make an appointment.
· Walgreens in Calais – Public - to schedule an appointment, visit Walgreens.com/ScheduleVaccine or call 1-800-Walgreens. Walk-ins are not accepted.
· Walmart in Calais – Public - to see availability and schedule an appointment, visit: www.walmart.com/COVIDvaccine. Please check your eligibility before scheduling an appointment.
· Walgreens in Machias – Public - to schedule an appointment, visit Walgreens.com/ScheduleVaccine or call 1-800-Walgreens. Walk-ins are not accepted.
Because Maine’s supply of vaccine is limited, appointments may not be immediately available and will be scheduled on a rolling basis.
There is no charge for the COVID-19 vaccine, but you should be prepared to provide any insurance information and proof of eligibility at the vaccination site.
Maine’s CDC urges Maine people to continue to practice good hand hygiene, cover coughs and sneezes, and stay home as much as possible.
Given this limited supply, only Maine residents are eligible to receive a vaccine in Maine at this time.
As vaccine availability increases, more details will be provided. For more information, please consult Maine vaccines FAQs at https://maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/infectious-disease/epi/airborne/documents/frequently-asked-questions.pdf
Maine’s Coronavirus Homepage at https://maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/infectious-disease/epi/airborne/coronavirus/index.shtml