COVID-19 Vaccine Information

About the COVID-19 Vaccine

Initial doses of the FDA-approved vaccines have arrived in Maine and New Hampshire; however, supplies are very limited. Following CDC guidelines, the first to receive the vaccine will be frontline health care workers, and groups determined to be at greatest risk, so not everyone will be able to get vaccinated right away. We will follow high-level guidance from state CDCs regarding the phasing of prioritized groups.

We have received an initial supply of COVID-19 vaccine and will start vaccinating our patients in the phases outlined by the CDC. As you have likely heard on the news, vaccine supply has been limited and unpredictable. There will eventually be a vaccine for everyone, and we will contact patients to receive their vaccine.

Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine at Martin's Point (Updated 1/20/21)

Martin's Point Generations Advantage and US Family Health Plan members should stay in close contact with their primary care provider (PCP) office for availability and scheduling of the vaccine. If you are a member of one of our health plans and also a patient at our Health Care Center, please review the information below.


How will Martin’s Point prioritize who gets the vaccine first?

The Federal Government is working with all states to deploy the vaccine as efficiently as possible. The timing of vaccine administration will vary depending on the supply of vaccine available to the state and where an individual falls in the risk-based vaccine prioritization process. We expect to know more about timing of vaccine availability for our patients as we get clarity on anticipated supply over the coming weeks. We will contact our patients when they become eligible for the vaccine (following CDC prioritization guidelines).

For Martin’s Point Health Care Center Patients living in Maine the following groups will be the first to receive the vaccine:

Phase 1B:

 

  • Those who are 70 years old or older
  • Adults with high-risk medical conditions
  • Frontline essential workers (TBD) — in the following sectors: food and agricultural, Postal Service, manufacturing, grocery stores, public transit, education (teachers, and support staff), and daycare. The State of Maine will review this list and make determinations as this phase approaches.

Phase 1C:

  • Other essential (non-frontline) workers (TBD)

Phase 2:

  • Persons aged 16-64

You can read all the details on the Maine CDC website.

 


For Martin’s Point Health Care Center Patients living in
New Hampshire the following patient groups will be the first to receive the vaccine:


Phase 1B:

  • People 65 years old or older
  • Medically vulnerable at significantly higher risk, including family caregivers for those under 16
  • Staff and residents of IDD facilities
  • Corrections officers and staff

Phase 2A:

  • K-12 teachers, school staff, child care workers

Phase 2B:

  • People 50-65 years old

Phase 3A:

  • Medically vulnerable people 50 years of age and younger who are at a moderate risk

Phase 3B:

  • Everyone else who has not yet been vaccinated

You can read all the details on the New Hampshire Dept of Health & Human Services website

We will keep patients updated with general vaccine information, availability and scheduling via our website or by email.

General COVID-19 Vaccine Information
(Updated 1/15/21)

Have any COVID-19 vaccines been approved for use in the US?

Pfizer and Moderna are two of the major manufacturers that have developed and tested COVID-19 vaccines. The Pfizer vaccine gained Emergency Use Authorization approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on 12/11/20. The Moderna vaccine gained Emergency Use Authorization approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on 12/18/20. 


How do we know if the vaccines are safe?

Clinical trials and FDA review are both highly regulated processes involving strict protocols that must be followed in all cases. These vaccines were able to be developed and reviewed in record time without cutting corners because the drug companies and federal agencies received significant workforce and financial resources to prioritize rigorous testing and reviews. 


Are these vaccines effective? Do they have side effects?

Both Pfizer and Moderna products are “mRNA vaccines.” (Learn more about mRNA vaccines at the CDC link below.) Both vaccines report an extremely high efficacy rate of over 94% and clinical trials show a high level of safety.  The vaccines require two shots. The first shot starts building protection. A second shot 3-4 weeks (depending on the vaccine type) later is needed to get the most protection the vaccine has to offer.

Some individuals reported tiredness, muscle/joint pain, mild headache, or redness at the injection site. The official reporting of coronavirus/COVID-19 vaccination side effects are published when the vaccine is reviewed by the FDA. Like with all vaccines, allergic reactions can occur, but are extremely rare.


Is the COVID-19 vaccine recommended for patients who are pregnant or breastfeeding?

The CDC has issued updated guidance around this topic, click here to read more.


If I have already recovered from COVID-19, should I still get the vaccine?

Getting COVID-19 might offer some natural protection or immunity from reinfection, with some evidence that immunity may last two to three months. At this time, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends waiting until 90 days have passed before immunizing health care workers who have had COVID-19. The same may hold true for the general population, and we will continue to update you as more information becomes available. 

Below you’ll find links to information from official health agencies about the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Maine CDC COVID-19 FAQ Page  & New Hampshire Dept of Health and Human Service pages contain up-to-date information regarding COVID-19 vaccines.

Other helpful links:

The US Food and Drug Administration provides information about the review and approval status of COVID-19 vaccines.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers easy-to-understand information about mRNA vaccines and how they work and an informative FAQ about the development, testing, and approval processes for COVID-19 vaccines at the following links:

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Biddeford
207-283-1441

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207-798-4050

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207-725-8079

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207-828-2402

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