|November 25, 2020
MMA & Maine COVID-19 Vaccine Planning
The MMA is engaged as a stakeholder with the state about its COVID-19 vaccination plan.
While the state can be expected to receive shipments from the federal government before the end of the year, the number of doses remains unknown. Whatever the actual number, it is not expected to be sufficient for all the frontline health care workers. It is assumed the state will prioritize high-risk populations, presumably in inpatient and LTC facilities. The Pfizer vaccine has detailed cold storage special handling requirements so it’s likely individuals will be vaccinated at defined staging sites able to safely store the vaccine. The Moderna vaccine and perhaps the Astra-Zeneca vaccine is reported to possibly be available during the first quarter of 2021. Because these vaccines appear to not have the same special handling requirements as the Pfizer vaccine, it could be administered more locally, including physician offices, but probably not well into 2021.
Despite the inference you may have from any media reports, we will continue to impress upon decision makers to ensure that all physicians not directly situated on the COVID-19 front line at hospitals, health systems, and independent practices are fairly considered for access and distribution of vaccines for clinicians and staff.
Unfortunately, news was released late Tuesday that would seemingly place Maine well down the list of vaccine distribution by the federal government. Please refer to the rest of our Maine Medicine Weekly Update.
As we prepare to continue advocating for efficient and necessary vaccine distribution, it would be helpful if your independent practice could begin querying your EMRs or other patient record systems in order to come up with an estimate of the number of high risk patients in your practices.
Please provide the information directly to Dan Morin at firstname.lastname@example.org and reach out with any additional comments, concerns, or suggestions.
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