Governor urges Mainers to get their now-approved COVID shots
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The full approval of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine means it’s time for Maine’s remaining unvaccinated people to get their shots, the governor said.
Maine Gov. Janet Mills said in a statement late Monday that getting vaccinated is especially important because of the rise of the delta variant in the state and elsewhere. Mills, a Democrat, said there is “no time to waste in getting your shot” because of the rise in cases and hospitalizations in Maine.
“Getting vaccinated may save your life, the life of a family member or friend, or the life of a child not yet eligible for a vaccine,” Mills said.
About 70% of Maine’s eligible population is full vaccinated against coronavirus. That’s one of the highest rates in the country.
The federal government announced full approval of the Pfizer vaccine on Monday.
In other pandemic news in Maine:
SCHOOL VACCINATION RATES
The rate of vaccination of students in Maine’s schools will vary widely at the start of the school year, Maine officials have found.
The state published estimated vaccination rates for students age 12 to 18 for school administrative units on Tuesday. Some districts, such as Falmouth, have rates over 95%. Others, such as Jonesboro, have rates below 40%.
Rates are generally higher in southern Maine districts.
The number of daily cases of the virus in Maine has leveled off in recent days but is likely to increase soon.
Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah said the number of new daily cases in the state is likely to go up because there are about 1,700 positive test results awaiting review.
“You should expected to see more cases per day in the coming days,” Shah said.
The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Maine has risen over the past two weeks from 158.17 on Aug. 9 to 160.71 on Monday. The seven-day rolling average of daily deaths in Maine has risen over the past two weeks from 0.14 on Aug. 9 to 2.43 on Monday.
The AP is using data collected by Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering to measure outbreak caseloads and deaths across the United States.
The Maine CDC said the state has been the site of more than 74,000 cases of the virus and 926 deaths since the start of the pandemic. Nine of the state’s 16 counties are the site of substantial or high transmission of the virus according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.