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Maine Delegation announces nearly $90 million for COVID-19 vaccine distribution, expanded testing

Awarded through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, the funding will support vaccine distribution and expanded testing.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — Maine Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins and Reps. Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden on Thursday announced nearly $90 million in federal funding that will support COVID-19 vaccine distribution and expanded testing throughout Maine.

The funding, awarded through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, was allocated as follows:

  • $12,146,102 will support a range of COVID-19 vaccination activities. This funding was awarded through the existing CDC Immunization and Vaccines for Children cooperative agreement.
  • $77,370,669 will support testing, contract tracing, surveillance, containment, and mitigation to monitor and suppress the spread of COVID-19. This funding was awarded through the existing CDC Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity (ELC) cooperative agreement.

“In the midst of this unprecedented public health and economic crisis, it is critical for Mainers to be able to access COVID-19 vaccines and testing,” Collins, King, Golden, and Pingree said in a joint statement. “This important investment will help to keep communities healthy and safe by increasing the availability of testing and promoting the efficient distribution of vaccines throughout our state.”

The Delegation has urged the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to prioritize transparent and timely communication with state partners regarding COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

In a letter sent to HHS Secretary Alex Azar in December, the Delegation wrote that the fair distribution of the vaccine is critical to successfully containing the pandemic.

“It is imperative that states have accurate and transparent information about vaccine allocations,” they wrote. “In recent weeks, Operation Warp Speed significantly changed its projections on the number of vaccine doses that states should expect to receive through the Tiberius portal without an accompanying explanation for the change…We encourage HHS to provide greater public transparency on state-by-state allocations, allocation methodologies, as well as distributions.”

As of Thursday, more than 66,000 Mainers have been vaccinated, with around 10,000 receiving their second dose.