As of Tuesday, Maine has had an official state website for state residents to pre-register for coronavirus vaccines.
The site, vaccinateme.maine.gov, will allow users to submit information that can eventually be used to schedule immunization appointments.
“It will not be intended to supplant existing platforms,” said Dr Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, during a press briefing on Tuesday, explaining that existing web portals put together by organizations like the major Maine healthcare groups will likely still be used by these groups.
Instead, the site is intended to direct Mainers to appointments for vaccines offered by small clinics and groups offered in more local drive-thru or pop-up environments.
“The goal is to register as many people as possible as quickly as possible,” Shah added.
Asked about the possibility of switching to the state’s new system, Chief Nathan Schools of the Buxton Fire and Rescue Department, one of the few local entities to have drive-thru clinics in Maine, said his city would likely use an existing portal that she has already tested. But he added that all kinds of clinics in other places could use the system well, depending on what providers are “comfortable” with.
About 165,000 additional Maine residents aged 50 to 59 became eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday.
That said, the website is unable to schedule appointments for anyone at this time, whether or not you are an eligible resident of Maine.
During his briefing on Tuesday, Shah said the feature is expected “very soon”.
The information required for pre-registration with VaccinateME includes name, age, date of birth and postal code.
There is also an option for those who are housebound to report it.
As of Wednesday, Maine had fully vaccinated about 16.5% of its population, according to Bloomberg’s vaccine tracker.