AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine CDC announced Tuesday that non-Maine residents are now eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Maine, effective immediately.
Previously, only Maine residents age 16 or older were eligible, and people had to provide proof of residency when getting their vaccine shots.
Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah said the update is not because people here in Maine don’t want the vaccine, but “rather, it’s a recognition of the ever-evolving vaccination landscape.”
He said removing the resident requirement will make it easier for people who administer shots at vaccination sites, as well as for people who get their shots.
The Maine CDC and the state decided to make this change for a couple of reasons, Shah said. One reason is that there are more people coming to Maine and coming back to Maine from other states. There is also more vaccine supply available across the country and the state.
One example Shah gave was college students. When college students go back home, Shah said they wanted to make it as easy as possible for students to get their first and second doses.
He said other states have also removed the residency requirement, so the state doesn't see getting the second dose as a barrier for non-Maine residents. Shah noted that the Biden administration recently indicated that a college student could get their first dose where they go to college, and then get their second dose at any retail pharmacy back home.
Shah also noted that vaccination sites across Maine have said removing the residency requirement will make it easier and quicker for them to administer doses.
As of Monday, 1,176,794 total doses of the vaccine have been administered in Maine, with 47.59 percent of eligible Mainers receiving their second or final dose.
Watch Tuesday's coronavirus briefing here: