Additional COVID-19 FAQs
Information is current as of 5/11/2021 and is subject to change.
ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY
Who is currently eligible? Updated 5/11/2021
Anyone age 12 or older is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Maine.
Note that only the Pfizer vaccine is currently authorized for 12 - 17-year olds. The Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson / Janssen vaccines are all authorized for individuals 18 and older
Will workers coming into Maine this summer be eligible to receive vaccination? Updated 5/4/2020
Yes. Non-Maine residents are now eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Maine.
How will people learn when it is their turn for vaccination?
General information about vaccination eligibility is posted on the Maine COVID-19 vaccination website. People in eligible age groups can contact vaccination clinics to schedule appointments. Clinics have different notification systems, so eligible Maine residents can ask at the time of registration how they will be notified about a vaccination appointment.
If I am currently eligible and it is my turn to be vaccinated, how do I get access to the vaccine?
Individuals should first check with their employer or medical provider to ensure that a plan hasn’t already been made for them to receive the vaccine.
Updates to Maine’s vaccination process can also be found here.
What resources are available if you are a Long-Term Care Facility looking to vaccinate your residents?
There is a Pharmacy Partnership Program available. If you would like to learn more, please reach out to Madeleine Squibb at firstname.lastname@example.org
How many doses is the state receiving of the COVID-19 vaccine?
Details about Maine’s COVID-19 vaccine orders are available here.
SIGN UP AND SCHEDULING
The pharmacy where I received my 1st COVID-19 vaccine canceled my appointment for my 2nd dose, what should I do?
If a 1st dose was administered at a pharmacy; the pharmacy must honor the 2nd dose as well. Please contact the pharmacy where you had your 1st dose administered to have your appointment rescheduled. We are also working with the public clinics to make sure eligible people can get their second doses there.
How do individuals who do not have the internet schedule to get a COVID vaccine? Updated 3/19/2021
Please contact the Maine COVID-19 Community Vaccination Line at 1-888-445-4111 for assistance. This line is available for Mainers who:
Do not have internet access
Need assistance connecting to or navigating online resources
Require interpretation assistance
Are home bound and need transportation
Have other questions around resources in their area
The line is available for calls Monday-Friday: 7am-7pm or Saturday-Sunday: 8am-2pm.
The Maine COVID-19 Community Vaccination Line will not provide faster access to clinic appointments.
What if I can’t get my 2nd dose at the same place that I received my first? Updated 2/2/2021
Ideally if you have received your first dose at a facility in Maine, you should be getting your second dose at the same facility, since the second dose will have already been allocated there. However, if you’re unable to, (i.e. received first dose out of state and then moved to Maine), then you would need to reach out to the closest health care system.
Is there any service available for Mainers who are homebound and cannot get to an appointment?
Maine DHHS is partnering with ModivCare, one of the organizations that coordinates rides for MaineCare members, to provide rides for any Maine resident who may be unable to drive, lacks reliable transportation or is otherwise unable to travel to their appointment. ModivCare will in turn partner with Community Action Programs and transportation companies to provide rides. This new free option is in addition to the transportation support that DHHS already offers for eligible MaineCare members who face challenges getting to their vaccine appointments.
People can call 1-800-608-5172 to schedule a ride. People must have a vaccination appointment before requesting a ride and must request a ride at least 48 hours in advance of their appointment.
What are Maine’s policies for individuals who are fully vaccinated and traveling to Maine? Updated 3/5/2021
Individuals who have completed a COVID-19 vaccination series and are 14 days beyond the completion of the series are exempt from the testing and 10-day quarantine requirement.
Why is Maine exempting people who have had COVID-19 or been fully vaccinated from the quarantine or test requirement? Updated 3/5/2021
Scientific evidence indicates that people who have recently had COVID-19, within the last 90 days, are effectively immune from the disease and very unlikely to transmit the virus. Individuals who have been fully vaccinated are also unlikely to transmit COVID-19. However, all visitors should continue to wear face coverings and practice physical distancing and hand hygiene to reduce the risk even further.
How do I report if I have a problem or bad reaction after getting a COVID-19 vaccine? Updated 2/21/2021
If you get a COVID-19 vaccine and you think you might be having a severe allergic reaction after leaving the vaccination site, seek immediate medical care by calling 911.
V- safe is a smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after you receive a COVID-19 vaccination. Through v-safe, you can quickly tell CDC if you have any side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Depending on your answers, someone from CDC may call to check on you and get more information. And V-safe will remind you to get your second COVID-19 vaccine dose if you need one.
Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) is the national system that collects reports from healthcare professionals, vaccine manufacturers, and the public of adverse events that happen after vaccination; reports of adverse events that are unexpected, appear to happen more often than expected, or have unusual patterns are followed up with specific studies. Reports to VAERS help CDC monitor the safety of vaccines. If experts detect an unexpected adverse event, they quickly study it further to assess whether it is a true safety concern. Experts then decide whether changes are needed in U.S. vaccine recommendations. This monitoring is critical to help ensure that the benefits continue to outweigh the risks for people who receive vaccines.
Healthcare providers will be required to report certain adverse events following vaccination to VAERS. Healthcare providers also have to adhere to any revised safety reporting requirements according to FDA’s conditions of authorized use throughout the duration of any Emergency Use Authorization; these requirements would be posted on FDA’s website.
You can expect normal side effects after you are vaccinated. Refer to What to Expect at Your Appointment to Get Vaccinated for COVID-19 for additional information.
If someone does not have a smartphone or internet, how do they report an adverse reaction?
They should contact the facility where they received their vaccination to report the reaction.
What is the distribution process?
The COVID-19 vaccine distribution process leverages existing networks, processes and partnerships to make vaccines available across America as quickly and safely as possible. Each week, as doses are released by companies for distribution, planes and trucks transport the vaccine to states and jurisdictions across the country.
The federal government, through Operation Warp Speed, has been working since the pandemic started to develop, manufacture, and distribute COVID-19 vaccines.
What is Maine’s process for distribution?
In general, groups most likely to experience extreme adverse symptoms or death if exposed to COVID-19 are recommended to receive the vaccine first.
What retail pharmacies in Maine are offering the COVID-19 vaccine? Updated 4/1/2021
What is the State of Maine COVID-19 Vaccine Efficient and Full Use Policy? Updated 3/4/2021
The State of Maine has updated previously released guidance on vaccination distribution to ensure efficiency, equity, and prevent severe illness and death.
The details of the State’s updated COVID-19 vaccination distribution are posted here.
The policy is binding for sites receiving COVID-19 vaccine from the Maine Immunization Program (MIP).
At the same time, the State is committed to putting every dose of the COVID-19 vaccine into the arms of residents, even if that means occasional deviations from the State’s phases
This guidance specifies how vaccine sites with approved Maine Immunization Provider Agreements may administer extra doses to individuals at the end of a clinic day or in extraordinary circumstances.
Maine’s goal is that no dose goes to waste. As such, approved sites may, without additional approval, use the small fraction of doses available at the end of a clinic to vaccinate, in this order:
Eligible individuals who may be on a waiting list or scheduled at a future date, including “same day” waiting lists, if sites decide to create such;
Vaccine clinic staff and volunteers, in oldest age order, who have not otherwise been vaccinated; and
Other individuals as a last resort. Extra doses should be prioritized when possible toward individuals who have elevated risks, such as individuals with medical conditions or those living with a disability that increase the risk for severe COVID-19 such as high-risk conditions identified by US CDC; those who live in marginalized, medically-underserved, and/or remote communities, including MaineCare members and those from racial and ethnic minority groups, sexual and gender minority groups, or tribal communities.
How is it determined what states get what allocation?
The federal government ultimately makes the decision as to how many doses are allocated to each state as they work closely with each jurisdiction.
How can I find out updates on Maine’s vaccination process?
The Maine COVID webpage will be updated as new public information becomes available.
How will we know who is getting vaccinated each week?
Maine CDC has launched a vaccine dashboard that updates at 10 a.m. daily to include data from the previous day.
Are there informational calls available for Providers and how do they sign up?
All providers are encouraged to join the MeCDC Vaccination Working Group call
This call occurs every Thursday from 1-2 pm and discusses strategies and operations in preparing Maine for COVID-19 vaccination.
Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/95037941905?pwd=emlpR0x5RnQ2YTkvMHE5YlRoNVQzUT09 Meeting ID: 950 3794 1905
PowerPoint slides to past meetings are located here.
COVID-19 Vaccine Info for Clinicians Webinars
Tuesdays at 7:30 –8:00 AM & Fridays at 12:00 –12:30PM
Dr. Stephen Sears, Dr. Amy Belisle and Dr. Lisa Letourneau host these meetings.
The sessions offer information on the vaccine development and approval process, followed by time for questions and discussion.
Meeting ID: 621 843 4986
Slides and recordings to these webinars are located here.
Who do I contact if I have questions on the storage and handling of vaccines (including temperature excursions), questions on routine vaccinations, and ImmPact related questions?
Where is MIP’s COVID-19 webpage located and what is available?
Our COVID-10 webpage is located here.
This webpage includes information on how to enroll in the program, storage and handling resources, EUA Fact Sheets/Standing Orders, Vaccine Safety, Communications (anything sent out from the Maine Immunization Program regarding COVID-19 and the slides from each weekly Vaccine Planning Work Group Meeting), link to the U.S. CDC’s COVID page, COVID-19 Vaccine Info for Clinicians (including slides and information from ME DHHS Clinician Information Sessions with Dr. Stephen Sears, Dr. Amy Belisle, and Dr. Lisa Letournea)
How do providers sign up to distribute the vaccine and what is that process?
Any facility, organization, or healthcare provider licensed to possess vaccine, administer vaccine, or provide vaccination services in the State of Maine is eligible to enroll.
Only providers enrolled through this online enrollment and approved by the Maine Immunization Program can receive and administer COVID-19 vaccine in Maine. To enroll, organizations must complete:
Additional information on the process and what is required can be found here.
What if I am a Provider and I have a patient with specific illnesses/allergies and wanting to get the COVID-19 vaccine?
The CDC website can provide more information on COVID-19 Vaccines and Allergic Reactions.
Providers may also join the “COVID-19 Vaccine Info for Clinicians Webinars”
We are a congregate living facility (ie. Bordering, residential homes, and assisted living facilities) who do not have a partnership in which we can sign up for vaccine?
Please contact the Maine Immunization Program – ImmunizeME.DHHS@maine.gov or 207-287-3746, so we can be put you in a partnership.
SAFETY AND EFFICACY
Why should people who have already been infected with COVID-19, get the vaccine?
It’s not clear how long protection lasts from being infected with the virus, so vaccination is still recommended.
People who had COVID-19 can get the vaccine at any time after they’ve recovered from being ill with COVID- 19.
Is the increase in vaccination rates related to lower COVID-19 cases? Updated 2/21/2021
This is hard to determine and could be a result of increased mask wearing, less congregating after the holidays, however, we do not have a definitive reason why at this time.
What is the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines currently available?
Pfizer –94.1% Moderna–95% Johnson & Johnson- 85% effective in preventing severe/critical illness and 66% effective in preventing symptomatic illness 28 days after vaccination.
What other vaccines are in development?
As of December 28, 2020, large-scale (Phase 3) clinical trials are in progress or being planned for two COVID- 19 vaccines in the United States:
AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine
Novavax COVID-19 vaccine
For more information on the different vaccines, please visit the CDC website.
Who should get vaccinated and who should not?
Who should get vaccinated?
The Moderna vaccine is recommended for people aged 18 years and older.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is recommended for people aged 16 years and older.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is recommended for people aged 18 years and older.
Who should NOT get vaccinated?
If you have had a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) or an immediate allergic reaction—even if it was not severe—to any ingredient in an mRNA COVID-19vaccine
If you have had a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) or an immediate allergic reaction—even if it was not severe—after getting the first dose of the vaccine, you should not get another dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.
An immediate allergic reaction means a reaction within 4 hours of getting vaccinated, including symptoms such as hives, swelling, or wheezing (respiratory distress).
This includes allergic reactions to polyethylene glycol (PEG) and polysorbate. Polysorbate is not an ingredient in either mRNA COVID-19 vaccine but is closely related to PEG, which is in the vaccines. People who are allergic to PEG or polysorbate should not get an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.