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Maine officials considering vaccination timeline change

Unfilled COVID-19 vaccine appointments at clinics across the state.
Unfilled coronavirus vaccination appointments have state officials considering changes to the...
Unfilled coronavirus vaccination appointments have state officials considering changes to the state’s eligibility timeline.(WJRT)
Published: Mar. 18, 2021 at 3:59 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - Unfilled coronavirus vaccination appointments have state officials considering changes to the state’s eligibility timeline.

Earlier this week, Northern Light Health reported a number of openings at their upcoming clinics.

On Thursday afternoon there were more than 60 openings for this Saturday’s clinic at the Cross Center alone.

Officials say instances like this becoming more prevalent across the state lead to consideration of speeding things up.

“We don’t want any slot to go unfilled, but at the same time, we also don’t want to crowd out those who are 60, 70, 80 from getting their shot,” said Dr. Nirav Shah. “That’s the balance that we are trying to strike. I’m taking a look at those data, our entire team is. Nothing to announce right now, but if we were to make changes, it would be an acceleration rather than a change in anything else.”

If it happens, that acceleration would see those 50 and up being eligible sooner than currently scheduled, which is April 1st.

Northern Light Health officials say they’ve gotten a surge of calls from people under the age of 60 looking to make vaccination appointments.

They say until they receive word from state officials to change the age guidelines, they can only help those 60 and over right now.

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