AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine pharmacies are receiving more than 23,000 coronavirus vaccines this week, enabling the state to vaccinate a record 68,000 people as the supply of vaccines from the federal government continues to increase.
The increase comes as Maine enters its second week with vaccinations available for people in their 50s. Older Mainers as well as teachers and child care providers are also eligible to be vaccinated, while people under age 50 are set to become eligible on April 19.
The 23,370 doses going to Maine pharmacies this week come on top of the 45,200 doses the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention announced for hospitals and other sites last week. That total of 68,500 doses is more than Maine has received in any week so far, exceeding the 55,000 doses the state saw in early March when the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was first approved.
More than 40 Walgreens locations across the state are receiving a total of 11,700 Pfizer doses, while about two dozen Walmart locations are receiving 4,300 Moderna doses, according to the Maine CDC. About 35 Hannaford sites are receiving 5,600 doses of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Pharmacies have prioritized teachers in their vaccine rollouts, though many have also still offered shots to older Mainers simultaneously.
Another 1,770 Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines will go to pharmacies that have yet to be decided. In the past, the Maine CDC has moved around doses when administration pharmacy has moved too slowly, but an agency spokesperson said Friday that was less of a problem in recent weeks. Federally Qualified Health Centers in Maine are also expected to receive a smaller number of doses, but that allocation was not immediately available on Monday.
So far, 19 percent of Mainers have been fully vaccinated, while more than 400,000 have received at least first vaccine doses. With this week’s additional supply, and second doses scheduled for people who have already received a first, the state is set to have the capacity to vaccinate more than 500,000 people, or nearly 39 percent of its population.