DEAR SUN SPOTS: I am 77 and my husband is 78. I’ve been trying to get through the incredible amount of information being put out about the coronavirus. My doctor told us we should get the vaccination, but it’s impossible to sort through the amount of information. I have read at our age that we should get it, but I don’t know where to turn to make an appointment and get it done. No one seems to have any simple direct information on this. Can you use your powers and tell us what we need to do? I am sure a lot of people are looking for this same information. Thank you for your wonderful column. — Gail, no town

ANSWER: First of all, please remember that this effort to vaccinate everyone in your age group (Phase 1b) just started Jan. 18. There are over 193,000 people in Maine 70 years old and older so the demand is great. Supply chains and personnel are ramping up to accommodate everyone as quickly as possible, but the need for the vaccine exceeds the supply.

Call your health care provider and ask if they can offer assistance in making an appointment. Your doctor’s office may even be contacting you. You can also contact one of the vaccination sites in our readership area. Please don’t get discouraged if you can’t get through at first. More help is being put into place so keep calling and be patient because the phone lines are overwhelmed. Things will get better.

As of Jan. 19, these sites are: St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center (755-3110), Stephens Memorial Hospital in Norway (743-5933) and Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington (1-877-780-7545). Central Maine Medical Center’s vaccination scheduling information is still in progress. All sites in the state are listed at https://www.maine.gov/covid19/vaccines/vaccination-sites

For daily updates on additional sites, visit https://www.maine.gov/covid19/vaccines .

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I have a similar situation with the stimulus check as Claire did (Jan. 19 Sun Spots).  I received my $600 check and the envelope wasn’t sealed. We haven’t received my husband’s check as of yet. — No name, no town

ANSWER: I know this is disconcerting. I hope you will take my advice that I gave in the Tuesday Sun Spots and I’m printing it again in case anyone missed it:

As a married couple and filing income taxes jointly, you should have received $2,400 in that first round of stimulus checks and $1,200 for the most recent payment if you are eligible under the guidelines (having an individual yearly income of less than $75,000 or $150,000 jointly). If you think something is amiss, talk with the person who helps you file your taxes if you have someone, or review the information at irs.gov and contact the IRS at their Portland office at 1-800- 829-1040.

For any readers who don’t receive their stimulus check by the end of January, check the status of your payment on the IRS Get My Payment tool (https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment). You’ll see information regarding whether your payment was sent via direct deposit or by mail, and more.

If you think you didn’t get the money that is coming to you, you can claim it as a Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2020 tax return.

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name. We won’t use it if you ask us not to. Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be emailed to [email protected].

 


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