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Health

Maine hospital systems expect current vaccine clinics will meet the demand for second boosters

Virus Outbreak Boosters
Robert F. Bukaty
/
AP file
A pharmacy technician loads a syringe with Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine, Tuesday, March 2, 2021, at a mass vaccination site at the Portland Expo in Portland, Maine.

The FDA has authorized a second coronavirus vaccine booster for people 50 and older and people who are immunocompromised.

Northern Light Health expects to be able to offer second boosters late this week or early next. The health system's Dr. James Jarvis said unlike the first booster, there isn't an urgent recommendation that everyone over age 50 get the shot.

"I think anybody who is over the age of 50 who is immunocompromised should strongly consider it and probably talk to their health care provider and see if that's right for them," Jarvis said.

The Maine CDC also encourages people 50 and older to consider a second booster if it's been at least four months since their first one. In a written statement, the agency said, "Data continue to show that boosters are effective in limiting risk of hospitalization or death with COVID-19, especially as it relates to emerging variants."

Dr. Dora Anne Mills of MaineHealth said she herself is getting a second booster.

"I've been able to dodge not getting COVID for over two years now," Mills said. Now that we're seeing increasing number of studies showing the long term effects of the disease, I really don't want to get COVID, even a mild infection. So I made my appointment to get a second booster."

MaineHealth is currently taking appointments for second boosters. Northern Light Health said it expects to offer them late this week or early next. Central Maine Healthcare said they will offer second boosters as soon as they are available.