Governor Janet Mills announced Thursday that all Maine residents age 16 and older will be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine beginning next Wednesday, April 7, 2021. The acceleration of Maine’s vaccination timeline by a week and a half comes as Maine is expected to receive a significant increase in vaccine supply from the Federal government. Vaccination for residents age 16 and older had previously been scheduled to begin on April 19, 2021.

The vaccine schedule is now as follows: 

  • Now: All Maine residents age 50 and older
  • April 7: All Maine residents age 16 and older 

As with all changes in eligibility, it will take some time for some vaccine clinics to begin to schedule appointments and administer COVID-19 vaccines. Some vaccine sites may now begin accepting appointments for newly eligible residents, while others are preparing to offer appointments in the coming days. The Pfizer vaccine is authorized for individuals ages 16 and 17, but consent from a parent or legal guardian is required to vaccinate children

To date, more than 420,000 Maine people have received their first dose of the vaccine – almost 32 percent of our population, with nearly 20 percent being fully vaccinated. 59 percent of Maine people 50 and older have received their first dose, with almost 36 percent being fully vaccinated. Maine is currently the 4th best nationwide for the percentage of its population with at least one dose of vaccine and currently ranks 7th best nationwide for the percentage of its population fully vaccinated.

The Mills Administration continues to take steps to expand the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine in Maine, including standing up large-scale vaccination sites. Several of these sites are also prepared to expand their capacity to get shots into arms with the increase in vaccine supply from the Federal government. 

The Mills Administration is continuing to expand vaccinations in rural and hard-to-reach communities and for Maine people who are homebound. The State and the Federal Government are also providing vaccines to Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) for underserved areas. Public health nurses are holding clinics throughout the state to meet the needs of at-risk Maine people who cannot easily travel to large-scale community vaccination clinics and working with long-term care facilities to vaccinate new residents and staff.