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How Many COVID-19 Vaccine Doses Maine Is Expecting, And Where They're Going

Andrew Harnik
Associated Press

The first shipments for a COVID-19 vaccine are expected to arrive in Maine next week, and the Mills administration announced on Friday that it has submitted a request for a second allotment.

The first shipment that Maine receives will contain 12,675 doses, says state CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah.

“That’s enough for the first dose for 12,675 individuals,” he says.

Those doses will be administered to the highest priority group: health care workers most at risk for coming into contact with a patient with COVID-19, or with infectious materials that could harbor the virus.

Last week, the CDC identified the first several hospitals from Portland to Presque Isle that will receive the vaccine. On Friday, the state provided details about how those doses will be distributed to other hospitals.

“We’ve been able to refine it a little bit more and recognize that some hospitals may have gotten initially an allocation of 975,” Shah says, “which, for example, may have been more than the entire staff of the hospital.”

The first allocation to the state will be distributed among seven hospitals. Maine Medical Center in Portland will receive the highest amount, with 1,885 doses. Northern Light Mercy and Eastern Maine Medical Center hospitals will each receive 975. MaineGeneral in Augusta will receive 825. Central Maine Medical Center and St. Mary’s Hospital in Lewiston will each receive about 500. And 215 will go to AR Gould in Presque Isle.

Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew says priority was given to hospitals that have a significant number of COVID-19 patients.

“Week Two allows us to broaden that. We expect to be able to get to all hospitals that have registered with the U.S. CDC some vaccine in Week Two,” she says.

Maine is expected to receive 37,850 doses in Week Two, which includes both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine. And hospitals won’t be the only recipients.

Three home health agencies will receive 900 doses. Five hundred will go to first responders, and 100 to the Houlton Band of Maliseets.

All together, that’s enough to vaccinate a little more than 50,500 people.

An expected third allotment would bring the number to close to 75,000 people. But Lambrew says Maine’s allocation still falls woefully short of what’s needed for the very first phase of vaccine distribution, referred to as 1a.

“The vaccines that we expect to get in these first three weeks don’t even cover half of what is 1a, the health care workers and long-term care residents, which is what the U.S. CDC advisory group recommends,” she says.

Lambrew says questions persist about supplies of the COVID-19 vaccine. And Shah says how quickly Maine can progress through its vaccine plan will depend on how many doses it receives.