Vaccine Updates


How are decisions made about who gets the vaccine when?

The Maine CDC has developed a COVID-19 vaccine plan based on the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendation. In the initial phase of the vaccination program, ACIP recommends the COVID-19 vaccination should first be offered to frontline healthcare personnel and residents of long-term care facilities. Supplies will increase over time, and all adults should be able to get vaccinated later in 2021.


What is Maine’s COVID vaccine distribution plan?

The initial COVID-19 vaccine distribution began mid-December with the vaccination of frontline health care workers at acute care facilities (hospitals). For up-to-date information on access to vaccines visit's vaccine FAQs, or discuss with your employer or medical provider.


Overview of COVID-19 vaccine access (where/how to schedule)- by county:


Will a COVID-19 vaccine be available for children?

More studies need to be completed on children; vaccines will not be available to this group until they are approved by the FDA. The two available vaccines have age restrictions: Pfizer vaccine is limited to people age 16 and older while Moderna vaccine is limited to people age 18 and older.


How many shots of COVID-19 vaccine will be needed?

The initial COVID-19 vaccine series requires two shots taken a few weeks apart to be most effective.


What health information should I share with my vaccine provider?

Let your vaccinator know if you have any allergies, a bleeding disorder or are on a blood thinner, are immunocompromised or are on a medication that weakens your immune system, are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, are breastfeeding, have received another COVID-19 vaccine or have a fever.


What are the potential side effects of taking a COVID-19 Vaccine?
The most commonly reported side effects include: injection site pain, tiredness, headache and muscle pain. These may slow someone down a bit, but does not generally interfere with daily activities.


What should I do about vaccination side effects?

Side effects should only last about a day or two. Call your vaccination provider or your primary care provider (PCP) if you have any side effects that concern you or do not go away after a few days.


I’ve heard about some severe allergic reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine. What do I do if I experience more severe side effects?

There is a small chance that the COVID-19 vaccine could cause a severe allergic reaction within a few minutes to one hour after getting a dose. If you have a history of severe allergies, be sure to tell your vaccinator. They will monitor you after you receive the vaccine. Signs of a severe allergic reaction can include: difficulty breathing, swelling of your face and throat, a fast heartbeat, a bad rash all over your body, dizziness and weakness. If you experience a severe allergic reaction after leaving your vaccination provider site, call 9-1-1, or go to the nearest hospital.


How will people keep track of their second doses?

When you get your first COVID-19 vaccine dose, you will get a vaccination card or printout letting you know when to return for your second dose. Be sure to keep this information and bring it with you when you return for the second dose a few weeks later.


Should I get the COVID-19 Vaccine if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, discuss your vaccination options with your healthcare provider.


Will the vaccine give me COVID-19?

No, the COVID-19 vaccines being used do not contain the COVID-19 virus, so they cannot give you COVID-19 disease.


Should I wear a mask when I get my vaccine?

Yes, the CDC recommends that everyone continues to wear a mask in public, including when you get your vaccine.


If I have already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine when it is available?

Yes, you should get vaccinated. According to the CDC, getting and recovering from COVID-19 may offer some natural protection, but the COVID-19 vaccination is better protection.


Is the COVID-19 Vaccine free?

Vaccine doses will be available with no out-of-pocket cost.


Questions? Call Member Services at (855) 624-6463, Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.