PORTLAND, Maine — One of the most common questions among Mainers eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine is: "I live in Maine, but my doctor is out-of-state: where do I get my vaccine?"
The Maine CDC tells people to get the vaccine in the state where they live. Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew said in Tuesday's COVID-19 update that states receive their doses of the vaccine from the federal government based off of the state's population.
"We do recognize that people want vaccine," Lambrew said. "Some people don't have a healthcare provider and we want to make sure that there's access."
Many locations are open to the public, so you can choose where you go, even if you do not have a doctor in that hospital system.
On January 25, New Hampshire's DHHS clarified the state’s FAQs to note that only New Hampshire residents are eligible to receive the vaccine in the state of New Hampshire.
The question titled, “I am not a NH resident, but I own property in NH, am I eligible to receive the vaccine in New Hampshire?” has been updated and can be found here.
I am not a NH resident but I own property in NH, am I eligible to receive the vaccine in New Hampshire?
No, you are not currently eligible to receive the vaccine in New Hampshire. Individuals will need to bring at least one of the documents below when they arrive to get their vaccine:
Valid, unexpired NH Driver license or Non-Driver ID card.
A payroll check, payroll document, or employment contract showing individual’s legal New Hampshire address, dated within the last 60 days.
A government issued payment (ie. social security), showing individual’s legal New Hampshire address, dated within the last 60 days.
Lambrew said there are more than 193,000 Mainers over the age of 70, who all are eligible now to get the vaccine.
Hospitals' dedicated vaccine phone lines and websites are exploding with interest since Monday, when that age group became eligible under the beginning of Phase 1b.
"It's a great sign that there is so much robust demand for vaccine in Maine. Unfortunately, we are at a point where demand exceeds supply," Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah said.
People have reported some difficulty scheduling appointments.
Shah said people should keep trying those dedicated phone lines and websites.
Northern Light Health plans to add appointment slots every Monday as staff learn how many doses of vaccine the system's hospitals get.
"I assure you: if we were to get more vaccine, we would open up those clinics immediately," said James Jarvis, MD, senior physician executive.