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Maine's Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Allocation Slashed For Coming Week

Sharon Daley, Maureen Giffen
Robert F. Bukaty
Nurses Sharon Daley (left) and Maureen Giffen fill syringes with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in a makeshift clinic in the kitchen of a community center, Friday, March 19, 2021, on Great Cranberry Island, Maine.

While daily COVID-19 vaccinations are up in Maine, the federal vaccine supply is expected to shrink significantly for at least the next week.

At a briefing on Thursday, Maine CDC Director Nirav Shah announced that the state will only receive 2,500 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine next week — about 18,000 fewer than what was sent here this week. And Shah says that trend is expected to extend into the following week.

"It means that for example, next week, some groups that would like to be out there, out in the field doing vaccinations, like EMS, clinicians, may not be receiving vaccine. It also means that for the subsequent week, allocations will be a challenge. We are hopeful that later in April, those numbers, as they have been fluctuating, will pick up," he says. "There are things you can to do to help. For example, if you have made more than one appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine, please let the clinic know you’re not going to be there for all of them. That way, we can make sure that every dose that we get next week goes into an arm next week."

Shah hopes the deliveries of Johnson and Johnson will pick back up later in April. He also announced there are still some open vaccine appointments for later next week at a mobile clinic at the Oxford Casino.

Shah says that that the state is administering nearly 16,000 vaccine doses per day — a 40% increase from two weeks ago. And Maine set a daily coronavirus vaccination record on Wednesday, with more than 26,000 residents getting their first or second shots as the state opened eligibility to people 16 or older.

The announcement comes as the Maine Center for Disease Control adds more than 200 new cases of COVID-19 for the tenth day in a row.

The state has recorded another 319 cases of coronavirus infection on Thursday and one more death, bringing the state's death toll to 748.

Just under a quarter of the state's population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.