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Maine Drops Residency Requirement For COVID-19 Vaccine As State Adds 417 Cases On Tuesday

Maureen Giffen
Robert F. Bukaty
AP file
Nurse Maureen Giffen fills a syringe with a COVID-19 vaccination on the island of Islesford, Maine, Friday, March 19, 2021.

As the traditional tourist season approaches, Maine health officials announced Tuesday that anyone who is physically in the state and over the age of 16 can get a shot.

"Maine is removing the residency requirement to get a COVID-19 vaccine," says Maine CDC director Dr. Nirav Shah. "So if someone happens to get their first dose in another state and then comes back to Maine when it's time for their second dose, or vice versa, there is enough eligibility across the country now via the state level or pharmacy level, where getting that second dose should not be something that needs to be delayed."

Shah says the change was made to accommodate an expected influx of people coming through the state, and he says it will make it easier for health workers to give shots expediently, if everyone is eligible. Plus, he says more vaccine is available overall.

Nearly 40% of the state’s total population has been fully vaccinated.

The change comes as the Maine CDC reports 417 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday and no new deaths.

More than 62,500 cases of the disease have been identified in the state since the pandemic's onset, and 790 Mainers have died.

One-hundred twenty eight people have been hospitalized as of Monday morning, with 54 patients in critical care.