MaineHealth to update registration system in support of 60-plus vaccine eligibility in Maine
February 25, 2021
Contact: John Porter
Portland, Maine – MaineHealth today outlined its updated registration procedures for receiving a COVID-19 vaccination at one of its clinics now that the State of Maine has announced it will expand eligibility to those 60 and over.
The state of Maine announced today that, beginning March 3, 2021, Maine residents aged 60 and above will be eligible for vaccination. Previously, Mainers aged 70 and older were eligible to receive the vaccine.
“Clinical studies show that age is the strongest predictor of hospitalization and death from COVID-19, and we support the governor’s decision to expand vaccination eligibility to those aged 60 and over,” said Joan Boomsma, chief medical officer of MaineHealth. “The incidence of serious illness and death increases with age, and prioritizing in this way is a straightforward and sound way to allocate vaccine to those most at risk.”
MaineHealth, the state’s largest integrated health system, operates a high-volume vaccination clinic in Scarborough and also has vaccination clinics in Belfast, Brunswick, Boothbay, Farmington, Norway, Rockport, Westbrook and Sanford. As of Friday, MaineHealth had given at least a first dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to more than 40,000 Mainers aged 70 and older.
MaineHealth has created the physical infrastructure and identified the staffing needed to administer as many 25,000 doses of COVD-19 vaccine per week, but a limited supply of vaccine has constrained those efforts. For example, MaineHealth administered only about 8,500 first doses of the vaccine in each of the past two weeks. To date, MaineHealth has injected 96 percent of the doses it has received within seven days, with the remaining 4 percent lagging due to winter storms.
So far, more than 120,000 individuals have pre-registered in the MaineHealth system. As this next phase opens up, MaineHealth will prioritize Maine residents 70 and older who have already pre-registered in its system, and those individuals will be contacted to schedule vaccination appointments before residents who are 60-69. However, it is expected that MaineHealth will be able to begin scheduling vaccination appointments for residents 60 and over within the coming week.
Those who have not already pre-registered for an appointment are encouraged to do so by calling the MaineHealth virtual vaccine assistant at 877-780-7545. Once someone has completed the telephone pre-registration process, they will receive periodic automated messages to confirm their status. Even if someone’s phase isn’t yet active, they will be contacted once they are eligible.
MaineHealth has been continuously updating the capabilities of its registration system. Mainers can also now call the virtual vaccine assistant at 877-780-7545 to:
- Verify their information is in the system
- Cancel or change an existing appointment
- Remove one’s self from the pre-registration list and automated message system
“We know waiting for an opportunity to get vaccinated can be stressful and frustrating for many,” said Boomsma. “We are doing all we can to speed vaccine into waiting arms and bring an end to this pandemic. We appreciate everyone’s patience, and remind people, even those who have been vaccinated, to be vigilant. Wear a mask. Stay distanced. Wash your hands frequently. Remember, we are in this to win this.”
MaineHealth is a not-for-profit integrated health system consisting of nine local hospital systems, a comprehensive behavioral healthcare network, diagnostic services, home health agencies, and more than 1,700 employed and independent physicians working together through an Accountable Care Organization. With close to 23,000 employees, MaineHealth is the largest health system in northern New England and provides preventive care, diagnosis and treatment to 1.1 million residents in Maine and New Hampshire. It includes Franklin Memorial Hospital/Franklin Community Health Network in Farmington, LincolnHealth in Damariscotta and Boothbay Harbor, Maine Behavioral Healthcare in South Portland, MaineHealth Care at Home in Saco, Maine Medical Center in Portland, Memorial Hospital in North Conway, N.H., Mid Coast-Parkview Health in Brunswick, NorDx in Scarborough, Pen Bay Medical Center and Waldo County Hospital in Rockport and Belfast, Southern Maine Health Care in Biddeford and Sanford, Spring Harbor Hospital in Westbrook and Stephens Memorial Hospital/Western Maine Health Care in Norway. MaineHealth Affiliates include Maine General Health in Augusta and Waterville, New England Rehabilitation Hospital in Portland and St. Mary's Regional Medical Center in Lewiston. It is also a significant stakeholder in the MaineHealth Accountable Care Organization in Portland.