Maine public health officials said on Thursday that some health care workers not directly employed by hospitals will begin getting coronavirus vaccinations next week.
The announcement comes amid concerns from health care workers outside of hospitals about their turn in the state’s vaccination plan.
Maine CDC director Dr. Nirav Shah says those workers were always part of the priority group, which includes workers who come in contact with patients diagnosed with or at risk of contracting COVID-19.
But he says inoculations for those workers can begin a little sooner than anticipated because of a change in Maine’s vaccine allotment by the federal government.
“We are now able to activate it this coming week and for those folks who have always had a slot in the line now we’ll start getting them through,” Shah says.
More than half of next week’s expected doses will be targeted at patient-facing staff in hospital-affiliated practices, dialysis centers, oncology practices and independent medical practices that provide urgent and acute care.
State officials say larger health clinics are likely to receive vaccinations first.