The Maine CDC will now allow non-residents to receive COVID-19 vaccinations in the state.
Dr. Nirav Shah announced the decision to widen the scope of people eligible for the vaccine in Maine during Tuesday's media briefing.
Previously, in order to receive a COVID-19 vaccination, you had to be a resident of the state, which meant you either had to live or study here. But going forward, effective immediately, what governs whether you can get a COVID-19 vaccine in Maine is whether you are in Maine, and over the age of 16.
He says the reason for the change is not that there's less demand for vaccinations in the state. But, in the coming weeks, there will be more people coming to Maine and coming back to Maine. Students will be returning to their parents' homes to spend the summer, or coming to the state for summer jobs. And Maine will also see an influx of tourists and summer residents who may not have received their vaccinations.
With an increase in the amount of available vaccine serum across the country and in the state, he says it's the right time to open up the process to more than just Maine residents. Vaccinating people who are spending the summer in Maine will only serve to protect Mainers from becoming infected and decrease the spread of the virus.
As of Tuesday, May 4th, 1,176,794 total doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been given in Maine. 57% of eligible Mainers have received their first dose, while 47% have received both.
A list of COVID-19 vaccination sites can be found on the state of Maine website.