To our readers,

The COVID-19 pandemic is a once-in-a-century type story, ... Click here to continue

Johnson & Johnson doses arrive in Maine

35 Hannaford pharmacies will administer new vaccine
By Fran Gonzalez | Mar 02, 2021

Augusta — The state's allocation of COVID-19 doses this week grew to 55,000, including the Pfizer, Moderna and recently approved Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew of the Department of Health and Human Services said Tuesday, March 2, at the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention media briefing that the amount is more than double what the state had received in previous weeks.

Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine CDC, said the 11,500 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine started to arrive today and will continue to arrive tomorrow. Because the Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires one dose, in future summations, the vaccine will be counted or included in the second dose numbers, Shah said.

As of this morning, Shah said, 355,810 total doses have been administered in the state. This breaks down to 231,252 first doses and 174,457 second doses. That translates to 17.2% of Mainers having received at least their first dose, and 9.25% both.

Once the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine was approved for emergency use, Shah said, the manufacturer "cleared their shelves" of all doses and warned supply may drop off as it ramps up supplies again.

The new vaccine opens up more possibilities, he said, because it does not require ultra- cold storage. The vaccine can be brought to people more easily, he said, instead of patients' having to go to a vaccination site.

Lambrew said a new partnership with Hannaford Supermarket pharmacies will begin to provide vaccinations at 35 locations across the state. To find a location near you and to make an appointment to receive the vaccine, visit hannaford.com/pharmacy/covid-19-vaccine.

Two large mass vaccination sites are opening up this week in southern Maine, Lambrew said. One at the Portland Expo operated by Northern Light Health will vaccinate 1,000 people a day,  and a second clinic run by MaineHealth will open at the former Marshall's building in Sanford.

This, on top of the Walmart, Sam's Club, Walgreen and Hannaford sites she said, is a "big plus for rural Mainers."

For a complete list of vaccination sites, visit maine.gov/covid19/vaccines/vaccination-sites.

Since yesterday, 182 new COVID-19 cases were reported to the Maine CDC. Currently there are 69 people across the state in the hospital with COVID-19; 25 in intensive care units and eight on ventilators. In all, 733 Mainers have died because of the virus.

The positivity rate across the state, Shah said, has started to creep up again at 1.35% on a seven-day average, with testing volume at 672 people per 100,000. "It's not just in Maine, but across the country and in Europe," he said.

The best vaccine to take, Shah reiterated, "is the one closest to your arm." He encouraged people to accept the first available shot offered.

If you appreciated reading this news story and want to support local journalism, consider subscribing today.
Call (207) 594-4401 or join online at waldo.villagesoup.com/join.
Donate directly to keeping quality journalism alive at waldo.villagesoup.com/donate.
Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.
Note: If you signed up using our new subscriber portal, your username is the email address you registered with and your password is in all caps