Covid & Vaccine Update

A sign at the new Sanford vaccine center tells patients which vaccine is being administered.

The high-volume vaccination clinic in South Sanford officially opened this week. See related story. In his report to the City Council on Tuesday, City Manager Steven Buck said the clinic will begin vaccinating 240 to 360 people per day, increasing those numbers each week until reaching 960 people per day in April. He said the clinic will require 54 staff members per day to operate. This will include Sanford EMTs, who will work with other personnel on a rotating schedule.

Mr. Buck told the Council that Hannaford’s has joined the list of retail pharmacies offering the Covid-19 vaccine. They will be using the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which requires only one dose to be effective. He called the arrival of the J&J vaccine “a significant game-changer.”

On Wednesday, Governor Mills announced the state of Maine will follow President Biden’s directive to prioritize vaccination of teachers, other school staff and child care workers. Retail pharmacies at Hannaford, Walgreens and Walmart are being directed by the federal government to focus on vaccinating these frontline workers, but any appointments already scheduled for people over the age of 60 will be honored. All vaccines are given by appointment only. The state has a webpage with links to all the sites where you can make your appointment at https://www.maine.gov/covid19/vaccines/vaccination-sites.

Maine is also adopting the new Federal policy’s definition of school staff and licensed child care workers. It includes workers at pre-primary, primary, and secondary schools, Head Start and Early Head Start programs, including teachers, staff, and bus drivers and those who work as or for licensed child care providers, including center-based and family care providers. Vaccine sites will ask Maine residents for proof of eligibility. For these workers, proof of employment can include an employee ID card, a paystub, or a letter from the employer.

There were 26 new cases of Covid-19 in Sanford this week, and two new cases in Springvale, for a total of 28. This is an increase from the 19 new cases recorded last week. Cumulatively, there have now been 1,039 cases of the virus in Sanford and 252 in Springvale, a total of 1,291 for both zip codes. This data is as of February 28.

There have been 453 new cases in York County in the past two weeks.

As of March 3, 18.2% of Maine’s population has received the first of two doses of the vaccine, while 9.74% are fully vaccinated. York County is lagging behind the state average, but the new Sanford vaccine center is expected to help us catch up.