As the director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention frequently says, “The devil is in the details.” Nowhere is that currently truer than in Phase 1B of the coronavirus vaccination protocol planning. Left by the federal CDC to the individual states are the levels of priority that may be assigned to individual populations within that phase, thereby potentially failing to first immunize the most elderly (those 75-plus), who are statistically the most vulnerable to death as the highest-risk occurrence.

Maine needs to join the ever-increasing number of states in doing so, and also to announce it sooner rather than later, if our state is to avoid the potential risks caused by a lack of available, reliable, correct information. The potential result otherwise is the sort that caused hundreds of thousands of telephone calls to state agencies, seeking the barest of available details, or cars of senior citizens queued in long lines for more than 24 hours, largely on speculation, as occurred in at least one state.

Max Beichert

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