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Maine Medicine Weekly Update
October 9, 2021

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Another Big Week of COVID Vaccine Reviews by the FDA

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced two upcoming meetings of its Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) to discuss newly available data for the currently available COVID-19 vaccines.

Oct. 14 - The committee will discuss an amendment to the EUA of the Moderna Vaccine for a booster dose in individuals 18 years of age and older.

Oct. 15 - The committee will discuss amending the EUA of J&J’s COVID-19 Vaccine for a booster dose in individuals 18 years of age and older.

More COVID Guidance & News

COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Platform for Providers

The Maine CDC sent a letter early last week updating scheduling guidelines for COVID vaccinations across Maine for providers looking for additional doses and – in some cases – even first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccine. Read More

JAMA: Acute Myocarditis Following COVID-19 mRNA Vaccination in Adults Aged 18 Years or Older

Recently, there have been reports of acute myocarditis following COVID-19 mRNA vaccine administration. We evaluated acute myocarditis incidence and clinical outcomes among adults following mRNA vaccination in an integrated health care system in the US.

In this population-based cohort study of 2,392,924 individuals who received at least 1 dose of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines, acute myocarditis was rare, at an incidence of 5.8 cases per 1 million individuals after the second dose (1 case per 172 414 fully vaccinated individuals). The signal of increased myocarditis in young men warrants further investigation.

Read More

Hybrid Immunity, Vaccination and Viral Loads, and Predicting Disease Severity

  • Vaccination and Hybrid Immunity
  • Viral Load and Vaccination Status             
  • Saliva To Predict COVID-19 Severity
Read More

Studies Suggest COVID-19 Is Evolving to Spread More Efficiently Through Air

According to a study of people infected with variants, published this month in the Journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, SARS-CoV-2 is evolving toward more efficient aerosol generation and loose-fitting masks provide significant but only modest source control. Therefore, until vaccination rates are very high, continued layered controls and tight-fitting masks and respirators will be necessary. Read More

OCR Issues Guidance on HIPAA, COVID-19 Vaccinations, and the Workplace

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently issued guidance to help the public understand when the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy Rule applies to disclosures and requests for information about whether a person has received a COVID-19 vaccine. Read More

Maine CDC

Maine's Monthly Influenza Surveillance Report

New influenza cases: 2

New novel influenza A cases: 0

Most common circulating virus: influenza A/B Read More

Webinar: Preventing Stimulant Misuse Among College-Aged Students

Date: October 19, 2021

Time: 9:00 - 11:00 AM ET

Topic: This Maine CDC webinar will examine psychostimulant misuse among college and college-aged students:  the prevalence, the reasons for use and misuse, and effective prevention and educational strategies to address this issue. Read More

Independent Physician Practices

Seven Maneuvers for Independent Practices to Weather the Storm

Medical Economics magazine’s October 2021 issue outlines various options for independently practicing physicians in the changing healthcare environment. The article describes how there, “is no one-size-fits-all approach, and there are frequently more choices than physicians realize, with corresponding degrees of autonomy along a sliding scale.” Read More

AMA: Provider Relief Fund Phase 4 And Rural Payments – Application Deadline October 26, 2021

The American Medical Association continues to advocate for federal support of physician practices, and provides this update to federation members.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), has announced a new application cycle for $25.5 billion in COVID-19 provider funding (Phase 4). The application for the funds is open now, and will close on October 26, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Applicants will be able to apply for both Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Phase 4 and American Rescue Plan (ARP) Rural payments during the application process. In order to streamline the application process and minimize administrative burdens, providers will apply for both programs in a single application. Read More

Insurance Coverage

Federal Government Approves Maine’s State-Based Health Insurance Marketplace

Governor Janet Mills and Maine DHHS Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew earlier in the week announced announce federal approval of Maine’s State-Based Health Insurance Marketplace.

According to the Governor’s media release, individuals and families will be able to use the Marketplace, called CoverME.gov, beginning November 1, 2021 to explore health plan options, shop, and enroll in private insurance, with most people qualifying for Federal financial assistance to make premiums more affordable.  Read More

Reproductive Health

Biden Administration Rescinds Rule Banning Family Planning Clinics from Providing Abortion Referrals

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced this week its last regulation to finalize the reversal of the Trump Administration rule designed to prevent clinics from receiving Title X federal funding if they refer patients to abortion providers.

The new rule returns the Title X program to how it functioned between 2000 and 2019 and will take effect on November 8, 2021. Read More

Physician Campaign Training Opportunity

Reminder: Registration for 2021 Virtual Campaign School closes October 13

Are you a physician that currently holds political office? Are you a physician that wants to be an elected official?

There are still a few spots available for the upcoming American Medical Association AMPAC Virtual Campaign School but the deadline to register is COB Wednesday, October 13 (or sooner if maximum capacity is reached). Read More


Upcoming Specialty Society Meetings

Below you will find an on-going list of Upcoming Specialty Society Meetings. Any questions should be referred to the contact person listed for each specialty.

  Read More

AAP EQIPP Course: Immunizations - Strategies for Success (for RURAL Health Providers)

The recently revised EQIPP immunization course is designed to identify immunization rates in your practice, uncover barriers to immunization delivery systems, and provide techniques to overcome those barriers using clear aims that reflect expert principles and proven quality improvement methods and tools.

Read More

SUPPORT for ME Training and Technical Assistance Initiative

The Maine Medical Association- Center for Quality Improvement, in partnership with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, launched the SUPPORT for ME Training and Technical Assistance initiative.

  Read More


Physician (BC/BE in Family Medicine) - Mt. Abram Regional Health Center, (Kingfield, Maine)

Mt. Abram Regional Health Center, (Kingfield, Maine) seeks aPhysician (BC/BE in Family Medicine) with outstanding clinical and interpersonal skills to provide primary care to patients of all ages in a family practice with integrated behavioral health services.
Read More

Physician (BC/BE in Family Medicine) - Bingham Area Health Center

Bingham Area Health Center seeks a Physician (BC/BE in Family Medicine) with outstanding clinical and interpersonal skills to provide primary care to patients of all ages in a family practice with integrated behavioral health services. Read More

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