Mount Desert Island Hospital administered its first vaccinations for COVID-19 to frontline healthcare staff in late December. Since then, it has received a limited supply of doses designated for frontline and community healthcare workers and older adults living in congregate care facilities.
Governor Janet Mills announced today, January 13, updates to Maine’s vaccine distribution strategy that prioritizes older residents, those with underlying conditions, emergency service personnel and others critical to Maine’s COVID-19 response. Under the new guidelines, Maine’s limited vaccine supply will be prioritized for those 70 and older, additional emergency service personnel such as police and firefighters; and those critical to Maine’s COVID-19 response. The updated strategy also focuses on adults of all ages with underlying medical conditions that place them at greater risk of serious illness or death from COVID-19.
Current recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention include two phases. Phase 1 includes three tiers, 1a, 1b and 1c. Phase 2 includes community vaccination. The State of Maine has set vaccination priorities in accordance with this guidance as well as sub-tiering instructions for hospitals and health care facilities.
Current priorities in Maine Phase 1a include healthcare workers, EMS and residents of long-term care facilities. Phase 1b includes people age 70 and older and frontline essential workers. Phase 1c includes people ages 65-70, people of all ages with high-risk medical conditions, and other essential workers. Phase 2 includes all people ages 16 and older who are not in Phase 1, with vaccine starting to become available to the general public. This approach is subject to change as Maine updates vaccination priorities and strategy in accordance with federal guidelines.
MDI Hospital is continually monitoring state and federal vaccine planning guidelines and availability to ensure that our community can be vaccinated as quickly and efficiently as possible when supply becomes available. Our ability to vaccinate our community is currently contingent on the supply we are allocated each week. Due to the limited supply of vaccine, MDI Hospital does not currently have a guaranteed weekly allocation of doses. MDI Hospital will be notified by the state when supply will be available to begin the updated prioritization strategy and will continue to update our community as new information is received. The Governor has said that additional information on vaccination for people age 70 and older in Maine will be available the week of January 18 and asked older Mainers to wait to contact their health care providers about getting vaccinated.
When supply becomes consistently available, vaccines will be available through our primary care clinics based on state guidance. We thank you for your patience during these dynamic times. If you would like more information, MDI Hospital has set up an email address for vaccine-related questions, firstname.lastname@example.org.