Maine takes vaccinations to seniors in independent living facilities

Many Maine seniors living in independent living apartments can’t drive or easily get a ride to a COVID-19 vaccination site. Others might find it challenging to navigate online registration or deal with an automated call center line.

The Maine Immunization Program, part of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, has launched a system so these seniors don’t get overlooked, and the program is expanding further this week.

The state is partnering with independent pharmacies, paramedics and other health care providers to bring vaccines directly to independent living communities whose residents were originally included, but then dropped, from a federal pharmacy program included in the first phase of Maine’s vaccination plan. Vaccinators will be fanning out to 69 locations giving about 600 doses this week, according to a spreadsheet provided by the Maine CDC. Until now, the immunization clinics were for residents 70 and older, but starting this week under Maine’s new age-based vaccination system, those 60 and older living in the senior housing will be eligible to get a shot.

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