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Mainers age 16+ now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine

On April 1, Gov. Janet Mills announced all Mainers age 16 and older would be eligible for a vaccine beginning April 7.

MAINE, USA — Beginning Wednesday, April 7, 2021, Mainers age 16 and older are eligible for a coronavirus vaccine. 

Gov. Janet Mills announced the accelerated plan on April 1. The Mills administration said the acceleration comes as the state is receiving "a significant increase" in vaccine supply from the federal government.

Maine CDC Dir. Nirav Shah also cited two reasons the state has been able to accelerate the process. One is the increased supply from the federal government, and the other is the state's ability to turn supply around and get shots in arms. He said the state's expanded vaccination clinics in addition to the increased supply makes this possible.  

In addition, Mills noted "the word has gotten out" that the vaccination process is a relatively smooth process. 

The administration says it will take some time for vaccine clinics to begin scheduling vaccine appointments. 

"Some vaccine sites may now begin accepting appointments for newly eligible residents, while others are preparing to offer appointments in the coming days," the administration said. 

“With nearly three out of every five Maine residents age 50 and older having now received at least one dose of vaccine, we’re prepared to open up appointments to even more Maine people,” Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew said in a release. “In the coming days and weeks, we’ll continue to work with our valued partners throughout the state to connect eligible Maine people with doses, particularly those who are at high risk or face barriers to vaccination, which will help move Maine closer to recovery.”  

The Pfizer vaccine is authorized for individuals ages 16 and 17, but consent from a parent or legal guardian is required to vaccinate children. For more information on vaccinations for 16 and 17-year-old Maine residents, click here.

RELATED: Pfizer says its COVID-19 vaccine protects younger teens

To find a vaccination site, visit the state vaccine website.    

WATCH: Maine CDC Briefing April 6, 2021

WATCH: Maine CDC Briefing April 1, 2021