A nurse holds a bottle of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine Monday at the Nurse Isabel Zendal Hospital in Madrid, Spain. Credit: Bernat Armangue / AP

Maine — along with other states — is expected to receive an additional 5 percent increase in COVID-19 vaccine supply, according to an announcement on Tuesday by the White House.

Combined with an earlier boost, that’s a 22 percent increase for the next three weeks.

The Biden administration is also preparing to launch a Federal Retail Pharmacy Program that would allow people eligible for the vaccine to get a dose at participating pharmacies. Maine CDC Director Nirav Shah said the details are still being worked out.

“Namely, how much vaccine is coming to Maine, which pharmacy sites, so on and so forth,” he said

Shah said it’s also unclear how many doses will be allocated for the pharmacy program, but it will be separate from the allotment the state receives for hospitals and other clinics. The new program is expected to begin Feb. 11.

This week’s allotment of COVID-19 vaccine is en route to the state, and any storm-related delays in delivery shouldn’t compromise their efficacy, he said.

“The good news that we received is that the vaccine can subsist in the shipping container that they’re placed in for 72 hours without encountering any temperature concerns,” he said

This article appears through a media partnership with Maine Public.