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COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs

The State of Maine has announced a change to their COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan. Effective March 3, 2021, Maine residents aged 60 and above are now eligible for vaccination. MaineHealth will continue to prioritize Maine residents 70 and older who have already pre-registered in our system. If you are over the age of 60 and have already pre-registered, no action is required. We have included you in the over 60 vaccine phase and your place in line within this group has been saved. Learn More.

Appointment Requests and Scheduling

How do I make an appointment?

Maine residents can pre-register for a vaccination appointment by calling 1-877-780-7545. We will ask for your date of birth, zip code and phone number. The information you provide will be used to contact you when it is your turn to schedule an appointment. If a friend or family member needs help with the process, you may call 1-877-780-7545 on their behalf and enter their information. After you have joined out waitlist, we will contact you with periodic updates:

  • To confirm that we have your information in our system
  • To share the expected time frame for your vaccine phase
  • When it is time to schedule your appointment

When we contact you to schedule your appointment it will be from the number 1-877-780-7545. We will verify the information you provided when you pre-registered for a vaccine appointment. We will not ask for your full social security number or credit card information during the vaccine registration process. 

Your place in line is determined by vaccine phase eligibility, dose availability and the order of calls received. Thank you for your patience as we work through the stages established by the state.

  • Calling 1-877-780-7545 multiple times will not move you up on the list.
  • Please do not contact local MaineHealth practices, clinics or hospitals to request a vaccination appointment.
  • Vaccinations are by appointment only. Please do not to arrive at a vaccination site without one.

When will you contact me to schedule my vaccine?

Due to high demand and limited vaccine dose supplies, we are only able to schedule vaccine appointments 7-12 days in advance. After you have joined our waitlist, we will contact you with periodic updates: 

  • To confirm that we have your information in our system
  • To share the expected time frame for your vaccine phase
  • When it is time to schedule your appointment

I am over 60 and have been on your waitlist for some time. Why is it taking so long to get to me?

At this time, the wait is due to limited vaccine supplies. We appreciate your patience as we work through the vaccine phases established by the State of Maine.

I am over age 60 and have already requested an appointment through your system. Do I need to do that again now that the phases have changed? 

No. You provided us with your date of birth so we will automatically move you to the age 60 and over vaccine phase. Your place in line with that group has been saved.

How do I change or cancel a scheduled COVID-19 vaccine appointment?

Call 1-877-780-7545 and follow the prompts to change or cancel your appointment. You will need to provide your phone number, zip code and date of birth. We will also ask you to confirm your existing appointment information.

Should I cancel my previously scheduled appointment if I have already received the COVID-19 vaccine or if I have made an appointment with another health care provider?

Please notify us by calling 1-877-780-7545 if you have already received the COVID-19 vaccine or scheduled an appointment with another health care provider. This will allow us to schedule other eligible people who are waiting for a vaccine at a time when supply is limited.

What if I miss your call back to me?

If you are not available when we call to schedule or reschedule an appointment, we will try again within the next few days. If we can't reach you, we will leave a message with instructions on how to connect directly to our appointment scheduling team.

Should I request an appointment now even though I’m not eligible for a vaccine at this time?

Yes. You may pre-register even if you are not currently eligible for a vaccine. We will contact you to schedule an appointment when your vaccine phase is active.

Can I make an appointment at my local hospital or doctor’s office?

No. Please help us keep their phone lines open for patients who need them for emergencies or other health needs. Maine residents can pre-register for a MaineHealth vaccination appointment by calling 1-877-780-7545

What about the second dose appointment?

Both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines require a second dose. If you receive one of these vaccines at a MaineHealth clinic, we will help you schedule your second appointment while you are still in the clinic. You will need to return to the same location for your second dose. 


About the Vaccine

Is the vaccine safe?

The first COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the United States are Messenger RNA vaccines—also called mRNA vaccines. MRNA vaccines teach our cells how to make a protein that triggers an immune response inside our bodies. That immune response, which produces antibodies, is what protects us from getting infected if the real virus enters our bodies.

  • mRNA vaccines do not use the live virus that causes COVID-19.
  • They cannot give you COVID-19 and will not affect your DNA in any way.
  • mRNA never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA (genetic material) is kept.

Like all vaccines, COVID-19 mRNA vaccines have been rigorously tested for safety before being authorized for use in the United States. mRNA technology is new, but not unknown and has been studied for more than a decade. Learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work.

What if I am pregnant or breast feeding?

Getting vaccinated is a personal choice for people who are pregnant or breast feeding. Your doctor can help you decide if vaccination is right for you and your baby. Learn more.

Which vaccine brand is better?

Right now, the soonest available vaccine is the best vaccine. All three vaccines have been shown to be very effective at preventing serious illness due to COVID-19. We can't predict which one you will be offered at your vaccine appointment..

If I have already had COVID-19, should I get the vaccine?

Yes. As long as you are fully recovered and have completed your isolation period. It is uncertain how long you will have natural immunity from COVID-19 after a confirmed infection. Getting the vaccine is the best way to be sure you are as protected.

What are the side effects?

The CDC advises that side effects from COVID-19 vaccination may feel like flu and might even affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. Learn more about what side effects to expect and get helpful tips on how to reduce pain and discomfort after your vaccination.

How long before I am immune? Can I stop wearing a mask after my vaccine?

The COVID-19 vaccine is thought to be about 95% effective in preventing infection two weeks after the second dose. We don't know yet whether you can still spread the disease to others after you have been vaccinated. After you get the vaccine, it is important to continue practices that help limit the spread of COVID-19. Keep following CDC recommendations such as:

COVID Prevention Measures


Vaccine Access

What if I live in NH?

Currently, New Hampshire (NH) residents are not eligible for vaccination in Maine. Memorial Hospital, a member of the MaineHealth system, is working with the NH Department of Health and Human Services to vaccinate NH residents. Please visit vaccines.nh.gov or call 211 for more information about how to register for a COVID-19 vaccination in NH.

  • Memorial Hospital cannot accept vaccine appointment requests over the phone at this time.

Where are the clinics located?

MaineHealth has established high-volume COVID-19 vaccine clinics in Westbrook, Scarborough, Belfast, Brunswick, Norway, Farmington, Sanford, Boothbay Harbor and Rockport, Maine. View locations and driving directions.

New Hampshire (NH) residents are not eligible for vaccination in Maine. Memorial Hospital, a member of the MaineHealth system, is working with the NH Department of Health and Human Services to vaccinate NH residents. Please visit vaccines.nh.gov or call 211 for more information about how to register for a COVID-19 vaccination in NH. Memorial Hospital cannot accept vaccine appointment requests over the phone at this time.

I don't have a vehicle. How will I be able to get a vaccine?

If you live in the greater Portland area, the MaineHealth vaccine clinic in Westbrook is on the on the Metro Bus Line.

  • Metro Bus Route 3 stops at the intersection of Spring Street & Country Road in Westbrook, leaving less than a 3 minute walk to reach the vaccine clinic at 340 County Road.
  • This stop is noted on the Metro website as “Husson University"
  • Look for signs that say “MaineHealth Vaccination Clinic"

Other sites that may be close to home are listed here.

How much does the vaccine cost? Do I need insurance?

The COVID-19 vaccine is available at no cost to you, regardless of insurance coverage.

If you have insurance, please bring your insurance card to your appointment. If you are a Medicare or Medicare Advantage patient, please bring your Traditional Medicare ID (the red, white, and blue card) to your appointment. We will bill a vaccine administration fee to your insurance provider.

If you do not have insurance, the federal government will cover the cost in full.

COVID-19 Testing

If you think you have been exposed to the virus, MaineHealth provides several options for getting a COVID-19 test.