MaineHealth begins vaccinations of children ages 12 -15 following approval to do so from the Maine CDC
May 11, 2021
Portland, Maine – MaineHealth, the region’s largest integrated health system, announced today that it has begun offering COVID-19 vaccinations for children ages 12 – 15 following state and federal approval of inoculations for that age group.
In anticipation of the approval, MaineHealth opened up registration for the vaccine to children ages 12-15 last week, and more than 2,000 pediatric patients are registered. MaineHealth began offering appointments for those children today, and it is expected that all those who signed up will be offered an appointment this week.
MaineHealth is also offering vaccinations on a walk-in basis to children 12-17 at some of its clinics, including this week at locations in Westbrook and Brunswick. However, as eligibility expands to individuals age 12-15, parents and families are encouraged to schedule appointments in advance to avoid long wait lines and ensure vaccine is available. Only the vaccine made by Pfizer-BioNTech is approved for use in people under the age of 18.
All people (including non-Mainers) over the age of 12 can be registered for an appointment at vaccine.mainehealth.org, and those 18 and over can schedule their appointment directly through that site, an option that is sometimes also available for those under 18 depending on Pfizer vaccine availability. Information about walk-in options is also available through the website, and people can also register by calling 1-877-780-7545. Once registered, children under the age of 18, or their parents as appropriate, will be notified of an appointment at a clinic set up for younger patients.
MaineHealth is also working with local school districts to set up vaccine clinics in high schools and middle schools. The first of these are taking place this week in Oxford County. MaineHealth officials say they are anxious to set up the school-based clinics soon so that second doses of the Pfizer vaccine, which are given at least three weeks after the first, can be administered by the end of the school year.
For those seeking a vaccination, children under 18 will require consent from a parent or legal guardian. There are no out-of-pocket costs for getting the vaccine, but people should bring their insurance information. Health insurance is not required, however, to receive a free vaccination.
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 General 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.