UPDATE: AUGUSTA -- This morning, following the U.S. CDC and U.S. FDA’s recommendation, Maine advised health care providers out of an abundance of caution to pause administration of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, including at the mobile vaccination unit (MVU) currently in Oxford.

As a result, appointments at the MVU scheduled today between 8:30 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. have been canceled and will be rescheduled.

However, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention has secured and redirected Moderna vaccine from another location to the MVU so that all appointments scheduled at the MVU from 1 p.m. today through Friday, April 16 will be offered unchanged. The Moderna vaccine will be administered at these appointments.

Appointments for second doses of the Moderna vaccine will be scheduled. We urge people whose appointments were canceled at the Oxford MVU to call 1-888-445-4111 to reschedule them.

Individuals with appointments to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at other clinics will hear from those clinics about rescheduling their appointments.

The Maine Immunization Program within the Maine CDC has advised clinics that received Johnson & Johnson vaccine to store it until further information from the U.S. FDA and the U.S. CDC becomes available.

Dr. Shah will provide more information at the 2 p.m. briefing today.

UPDATE: U.S. Will Pause Use of Johnson & Johnson Vaccine After Rare Complications

UPDATE: The Maine CDC said the mobile vaccination unit is on hold due a pause of using the Johnson & Johnson COVID-18 vaccine.

OXFORD, Maine (AP) — Maine officials told health care providers Tuesday to pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine following new guidance from federal officials.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cited six reports of a rare but dangerous type of blood clot in recipients of the vaccine, but none of those have been reported in Maine.

“Given this recommendation, the state of Maine is advising that providers pause administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine until the U.S. CDC’s scientific advisory committee has further reviewed the safety data,” according to a statement issued by Gov. Janet Mills, Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew and Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We understand that this pause will impact Maine people who were scheduled to receive the J&J/Janssen vaccine,” Shah tweeted.

Also, the J&J vaccine was being used in the state’s mobile vaccination unit that has been scheduled to travel to rural areas across the state. This week the mobile unit, which launched Monday, is in the parking lot of the Oxford Casino in western Maine. The mobile unit is on hold Tuesday, said Robert Long, a spokesman for Maine CDC.

All told, more than 6.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been administered in the U.S., the vast majority with no or mild side effects.

ORIGINAL STORY: A mobile vaccination unit is now being used in Maine to get vaccines to more rural areas of the state.

Over the next two months, the mobile unit - called the MVU - will travel to places like it’s starting point at the Oxford Casino. See link below for all locations including the County.

New England has only two mobile vaccination units - and Maine has one. Each day, around 250 shots will deliver the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Maine has many rural areas and not everyone has easy access to the vaccine. The vaccination effort will travel to 11 communities. The MVU will be in northern Maine May 29-June 2 at the Madawaska Multi-Purpose center in Madawaska. Also, close to Aroostook County, the mobile vaccination unit will be in Old Town at the Old Town police and fire departments, May 14-17.

See the press release from Maine.gov. The link includes contact info to schedule appointments quickly. 

Here's a look at the map of different stops as the MVU makes it way across Maine.

Maine.gov

Maine is partnering with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to get the MVU to more remote locations.

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Governor Mills said this is a efficient way to get more people vaccinated in the state:

This mobile vaccination clinic is another important tool for our state as we work to get shots into arms as fast as we can," said Maine Governor Janet Mills. "The clinic will complement our existing vaccination efforts well and allow people in rural communities to more easily get the vaccine, protecting their health and that of their loved ones and helping us to win the fight against COVID-19. I am grateful to the Biden Administration for its commitment to partnering with states to get people vaccinated and to FEMA for their outstanding work to deliver on that promise.

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.