Maine Medicine Weekly Update - 02/26/2021  (Plain Text Version)

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In this issue:
•  BREAKING: Washington Post Reports, “FDA advisers recommend authorization of Johnson & Johnson single-dose coronavirus vaccine”
•  BREAKING: Maine Adopts Age-based Approach to Expanding Vaccine Eligibility
•  Committee Delays Debate on Bill to Eliminate Nurse Practitioner Training
•  “Community Based Collaboration Form” Vaccine Request Available from Maine DHHS/CDC
•  Maine PMP to Stay with Appriss System
•  CMS Special Enrollment Period for Marketplace Coverage 2021
•  Sue Woods, MD, MPH-- Internet connectivity that just works will help Maine thrive
•  Incoming MMA President, Jeffrey Barkin, MD, DFAPA on WGAN Radio
•  Next MMA Legislative Call Will Be Wednesday, March 3rd
•  Daniel Hanley Center for Health Leadership’s Renowned Physician Executive Leadership Institute – The Advanced Course Enrollment is OPEN
•  PPE Available Through the MMA & ActionPPE
•  A Message from Maine Responds: Volunteer Opportunity
•  Maine Legislature Week 7 Update
•  Maine Legislature: Public Hearings & Work Sessions
•  Upcoming Specialty Society Meetings
•  Maine CDC Physicians To Host Regular Clinician COVID Vaccine Info Sessions
•  Suicide Prevention and Management in Healthcare Practice Settings: A Comprehensive Evidence-Based Approach
•  Maine CDC Annual Prevention Professionals Conference - March 2nd-3rd
•  AAP EQIPP Course: Immunizations - Strategies for Success (for RURAL Health Providers)
•  Nursing Director
•  Medical Director - Bucksport Regional Health Center
•  Rangeley Family Medicine seeks Physician
•  Nurse Practitioner
•  Physician
•  Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner


“Community Based Collaboration Form” Vaccine Request Available from Maine DHHS/CDC

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services has posted an application online for physician’s offices to form “community-based collaboratives” for offering vaccines.


The Maine Department of Health and Human Services has posted an application online for physician’s offices to form “community-based collaboratives” for offering vaccines. 

The form is the result of collaboration between the Maine Medical Association’s Board of Directors and staff, the Maine Osteopathic Association, and Maine DHHS & Maine CDC to promote equitable access to potentially lifesaving COVID-19 vaccine doses. 

While we are encouraged to see this next step from Maine DHHS/CDC to incorporate community physicians while promoting equitable and transparent distribution of limited vaccine doses, some of Maine’s community physicians are concerned that a threshold of 1,000 doses may be too high, especially when vaccines are limited to certain demographics. 

1,000 COVID shots a week? Primary care doctors feel excluded by ‘unrealistic’ requirement—Portland Press Herald, Wednesday, February 24, 2021. The MMA thanks Drs. Lisa Lucas (Freeport), Patricia Phillips (Yarmouth), and Merrill Farrand Jr. (Kennebunk), for their tireless advocacy efforts on behalf of their high-risk patients. 

While MMA leadership understands the state’s challenges with delivering vaccines to our communities, an infrastructure to bring vaccines directly to our communities and serve our high-risk patients where they are must be developed to be both efficient and consistent. 

We thank you for your patience and look forward to when Maine’s physicians can inform their patients if, and when, their offices are able to begin administering vaccines. 

You are not alone. Colleagues nationwide are expressing the same concerns and calling for action from federal and state leaders. 

State Medical Societies Urge Biden Administration and State Governments to Facilitate Distribution of COVOD-19 Vaccine to Community-based Physicians 

Massachusetts Medical Society Statement on primary care physician vaccine access 

Mass. Doctors Cut Off From State's Vaccine Supply Pushing for Change: ‘We're Very Disappointed'—NBC Boston 

The South Carolina Medical Association tweeted the same concerns: 

“SC physicians are the same as MA. The need to vaccinate quickly sends supplies to hospitals and pharmacies. SCMA continues to ask that physicians receive vaccine as supplies increase. The physician-patient relationship can be the key for some to choose vaccination.” 

The New York Times also recently published a story outlining how primary care physicians have grown increasingly frustrated with their exclusion from the nation’s vaccine rollout, unable to find reliable supplies for even their eldest patients and lacking basic information about distribution planning for the shots. 

Additional Vaccine Resources:

Please contact MMA Director of Communications and Government Affairs, Dan Morin at or by phone at 207-480-4199 for a copy, or more information about the medical practice vaccine collaboration template. The template should be used by potential community collaborations or “consortia” to propose alternative vaccine sites to the high throughput “mega-sites” if they can meet a 1000 dose/week threshold.