Health and health care news

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

Teachers and school staff members in Maine are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine following a directive from President Joe Biden this week.

The pace of COVID-19 vaccinations in Maine is slipping.

St. Mary’s Regional Health Center in Lewiston says it’s working to set up clinics next weekend to vaccinate educators in Androscoggin County.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

The South African COVID-19 variant has been detected in Maine.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

Wednesday is the first day that people 60 and older in Maine are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. And many are receiving doses at the Cross Insurance Center clinic in Bangor, says Dr. James Jarvis of Northern Light Health.

People who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 — which comes two weeks after receiving the final dose — can gather without masks, says Maine CDC Director Nirav Shah.

Gregory Rec / Pool/Portland Press Herald

Several new options for getting the COVID-19 vaccine are opening up in Maine this week.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

The Maine Center for Disease Control is adding another 182 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. No new deaths are being reported.

Northern Light Home Care & Hospice is planning to open a high-volume vaccine clinic at the Maine Mall in Portland.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

Fifty mental health professionals have sent a letter to the Maine attorney general’s office citing concerns about how long it takes to become licensed, saying applications often take months to be processed. And as the would-be providers wait, so too must their clients, at a time when the demand for mental health services is surging due to the pandemic.

Troy R. Bennett / Bangor Daily News

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine is signaling a pullback on remaining economic restrictions amid a sharp decline in coronavirus cases and an accelerating vaccine effort, but it lags neighboring states in doing so ahead of spring and summer.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

One new COVID-19 death was reported by the Maine Center for Disease Control on Monday. And the agency added 128 new cases of the disease.

Mel Evans / Associated Press file

Maine expects to receive 11,500 doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine this week, after the FDA granted emergency authorization Saturday.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

One more Mainer has died with COVID-19, and the state Center for Disease Control has added 142 more cases on Saturday.

Jennifer Mitchell / Maine Public file

Eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine in Maine will now be based on age.