Maine submits plan to federal government for distributing eventual COVID-19 vaccine

Officials said it is the first version of the plan and will be updated.
Published: Oct. 17, 2020 at 3:34 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WMTW) - The Maine Department of Health and Human Services said Friday that it has submitted to the federal government a plan for the distribution of an eventual COVID-19 vaccine.

Officials said it is the first version of the plan and will be updated.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave Maine and all other states one month to develop a vaccine distribution plan.

The Mills administration said it will use three principles of equity, accessibility and flexibility to guide its approach.

The state is urging Congress to provide emergency funding to states to implement COVID-19 vaccine distribution plans.

“Maine is committed to working with the health care sector and stakeholders across the state as we plan for the receipt and distribution of a vaccine when one becomes available,” Gov. Janet Mills said.

The state anticipates distributing the vaccine in four phases because it is expected supplies of an eventual vaccine would be limited.

Phase 1 would include health care workers providing direct patient care in high risk settings, others who work in critical infrastructure and those working and living in congregate settings.

Phase 2 would begin when supply is sufficient to vaccinate more broadly and include people with underlying health conditions, along with school staff and people in correctional settings.

Phase 3 would transition to more routine vaccination efforts in both populated and rural areas across Maine.

Phase 4 would expand vaccine access to all residents.

The state said it is planning for vaccine distribution to being in the spring. Officials said the plan will be updated as more information about a potential vaccine is released.

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