AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine should receive roughly 33,900 doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for kids ages five to 11 if the CDC gives the shot the final green light.
A Maine CDC spokesperson said the state will get weekly allocations, and that federal programs and pharmacies could receive additional doses. Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah estimates there are about 79,000 kids who would be eligible for the shot.
"Pediatric doses will have special color-coded caps and should be available throughout the state soon after the U.S. CDC authorizes their use," Robert Long, Maine CDC's communications director wrote in an e-mail.
Tuesday, the U.S. CDC's advisory committee will discuss whether to recommend that the agency support COVID-19 shots for elementary school-aged kids. The FDA has already issued emergency use authorization; getting the "OK" from the CDC with clinical recommendations is the final step.
Northern Light Health said it expects that it could start giving shots to kids as early as November 8.
Maine is also planning school-based vaccine clinics. The Department of Education's spokesperson said Portland, Gorham, Scarborough, Hermon, Appleton, Wiscasset, and Southport all have school planning clinics starting the week of November 8 or later.
Dr. Shah wrote on Twitter Monday:
"97%. That's how much #COVID19 vaccination rates have increased in #Maine over the past 2 weeks. Maine is now administering about 7600 shots/day. About 25% of those are boosters, while 75% are primary series. #vaccinationland
This is undoubtedly good news. But there are concerning pieces of data in front of us, too. For example, 212 people are in the hospital w/#COVID19. 76 of them are in the ICU and 41 of them are on a ventilator."
As of Monday, Franklin and Piscataquis had both reached a milestone in the vaccine rollout: more than 60% of all people in those counties now have a final dose. Somerset County has 59% of people with a final dose and is the only county in the state below 60%.
65% of Mainers 16-19 have a final dose.
Long said the CDC is waiting for census updates from the federal government on some other age groups. The state's dashboard shows more100% of those in 70-79 have gotten a final dose.