Governor Mills: All Maine adults are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 booster shot

November 18, 2021

This Thanksgiving, we are grateful and thankful for so many things. We should be thankful for our freedom. Freedom is something you can neither buy nor take for granted. It’s something we can hold dear and share with others we love and even with those we may never meet. The freedom to be healthy, for instance. To work and earn a living. To have a meeting or a meal with others without fear of illness.

That precious and simple freedom is why for generations we have stood in line at the school house to get a polio shot. That freedom is why people around the globe have welcomed with open arms and shoulders the life-saving smallpox vaccine.

That’s why your friends, neighbors, coworkers and loved ones are taking fifteen minutes out of their busy lives to get a quick shot of Moderna or Pfizer or J&J or a simple booster to keep the deadly virus at bay and to protect you from that virus as well.

This is Governor Janet Mills and thank you for listening.

You know vaccines are saving the lives of Maine people and keeping them from getting seriously ill from COVID-19. In fact, according to the U.S. CDC, Maine has the third highest rate of fully vaccinated residents, with almost 72 percent of all Maine people fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Maine people know that they’re saving lives and their previous freedoms for themselves and for others by getting vaccinated.

Recent scientific studies have shown that the COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective at preventing infection and severe disease, of course that protection might decrease over time as well so with Maine and other New England states confronting a sustained surge, particularly with the Delta variant, and with cold weather sending people indoors, we decided to simplify the Federal government’s complicated eligibility guidelines and make getting a booster shot for you as straightforward and easy as possible.

All Maine adults age 18 and older are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 booster shot, regardless of their occupation or medical condition or place of residence.

I’ve expanded eligibility for booster shots because the Maine CDC has basically determined that, because of the sustained surge in COVID-19 cases and high numbers of hospitalizations, all Maine residents basically live or work in a high-risk setting.

So if you are 18 and over, you may now receive a booster shot in Maine if:

  • You have completed the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccine series at least six months ago; OR
  • You have received the single- dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago.

Expanding booster eligibility protects the health of Maine people, it limits transmission of the deadly Delta variant, and it preserves our health care system's capacity which we all know is overburdened.

At least four other states – Colorado, California, New Mexico, and Arkansas – have also made that booster available to all adults.

Whether it’s your third shot or your first, getting the vaccine can save your life, it will keep your family working and it is the only way to lift the burden off our doctors, nurses, CNAs, our nursing homes and hospitals.

I urge you to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

Booster doses are available at many vaccination sites statewide. To find a site visit maine.gov/covid19/vaccines  or call the Community Vaccination Line at 1-888-445-4111.

Please get your booster to relieve the burden on our health care providers. And, if you have health care experience and want to give our health care workers a needed break, we could use your help too.

Please volunteer through Maine Responds at maineresponds.org/.

Your contribution will benefit everybody. You can save lives during this upcoming holiday season.

This Thanksgiving, I am grateful for the people of Maine, whose resiliency, determination, and generosity inspire me every day. We have had no shortage of challenges this year, but we are a state blessed with people who are smart and hardworking and who value one another.

This Thanksgiving, despite the challenges that remain, let’s remember to take stock of life’s blessings, to share in love and laughter with our families and friends safely, and to help those who are less fortunate. Let’s be grateful for the freedoms that we have and make sure that we are all free from this deadly disease.

I wish you and your loved ones a very Happy Thanksgiving holiday.

This is Governor Janet Mills and thank you for listening.