Maine’s Area Agencies on Aging are setting up immunization clinics and launching a promotional effort to reach older adults and those with disabilities.

The effort comes as Maine and other states are rolling out new vaccines tailored to combat the latest variants of COVID-19. Doses of the new shots are still in limited supply across the country.

A new AgeWise Maine website features a searchable database of upcoming immunization clinics across the state, according to a news release from the state’s five regional agencies. The AgeWise initiative will also host vaccination clinics with the goal of giving 8,000 immunization shots to Maine people, including influenza, COVID-19 and RSV vaccinations.

Overall, rollout of the updated COVID-19 vaccines continues, but supplies are temporarily constrained, said Lindsay Hammes, spokeswoman for the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Federal regulators gave the final OK for updated COVID-19 vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna on Sept. 12, with some supplies arriving at pharmacies the first week. The vaccines are formulated to combat the XBB1.5 subvariant of the omicron strain, and the vaccine is also expected to be effective against other similar circulating variants.

“While the new COVID vaccine is arriving at pharmacies and provider offices across the state, availability in Maine and across the country remains somewhat limited,” Hammes said in an email response to questions. “Maine CDC and the U.S. CDC are encouraging patience. This is an important step, particularly for those who are high risk, but not urgent. As distribution of vaccines ramps up, availability of appointments is expected to increase across the state. Most people should aim to get their updated vaccines to be protected in time for Thanksgiving and the December holidays.”


Hammes said “getting vaccinated against COVID (and flu – and if appropriate, RSV) remains the best step to protect yourself from the most severe impacts of the respiratory virus season including serious illness, hospitalization, and death.”

COVID-19 hospitalizations in Maine have ticked upward since August, but have fluctuated between 50 and 60 patients hospitalized with the virus per day since early September.

Amelia Arnold, pharmacy operations manager for Community Pharmacies, a Maine-based chain, said vaccine supplies are so far coming in slowly.

“We have received a very limited amount of Pfizer vaccine, but none of our Moderna (order),” Arnold said. “It’s not nearly enough, and some locations have yet to receive any. I wish I could say the supply shortages have been resolved, but not yet.”

Tara Burke, a spokeswoman for CVS, said that it’s best to check vaccine availability on the company’s website at

“Our pharmacies began receiving the updated COVID-19 vaccines on (Sept. 13) and have continued to receive inventory on a rolling basis,” Burke said in a statement. “To identify if a specific location has received its delivery, customers can utilize our digital scheduler at which shows real time availability.”


The AgeWise clinics starting this week will meet some of the demand.

The clinics are not age-restricted, but the focus of the initiative is for older adults and those with disabilities to be able to easily access vaccinations. The RSV vaccine is recommended for those 60 and older, while COVID and flu shots are recommended for everyone six months old and older.

The program is being funded with a $733,000 grant from the U.S. Aging and Disability Vaccination Collaborative. It will run through April 2024.

“We’ve been seeing a gradual decline in vaccination rates among Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries 65 years and older in recent years, and we know that coverage for adults living in rural areas is lower than those living in suburban areas,” said Megan Walton, CEO of Southern Maine Agency on Aging, in a statement. “This initiative will help all Mainers stay up-to-date on immunizations to protect them and their families from serious illness. Through vaccine clinics, transportation support, and other resources, we’re removing a lot of the barriers that older adults and adults with disabilities face in accessing the resources they need to stay healthy.”

The AgeWise Maine Initiative will produce educational programming about “the importance of staying up-to-date on immunizations in order to remain healthy. AgeWise Maine will host outreach and education events and distribute education materials in person and across several media channels statewide,” according to the news release.

Upcoming vaccination clinics include:

Portland Public Library, 5 Monument Square, Sept. 27, 10 a.m.- 1 p.m.
Spectrum Generations Cohen Community Center, 22 Town Farm Road, Hallowell, Sept. 28, 9-11 a.m.
Tafton Center, 19 Elm St., Sanford, Sept. 28, 1-4 p.m.
Fort Kent Senior Center, 20 Pine St., Oct. 2, 9-11 a.m.

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