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Maine CDC head: State can top 70% vaccinated for COVID-19

June 25, 2021 GMT

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine is approaching getting 70% of its eligible residents fully vaccinated for coronavirus, and the director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention said he sees that figure as more of a floor than a ceiling.

Maine has been one of the most successful states at getting vaccines to residents. About 65% of people age 12 and older are fully vaccinated, and the number is nearly 75% for people age 40 and older, according to Maine CDC data.

Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah said he considers it too early to tell how high the state’s final number could be, but he intends to push for more. He said the emergence of the delta variant is one reason the state will keep its vaccination drive active.

“I’d like to be higher than that. It’s a great number, let’s be clear, and other states would be envious of it,” Shah said during a Wednesday news conference. “I’m going to push and push and push.”

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Maine CDC reported on Friday that 858 people have died of coronavirus in the state since the start of the pandemic. The state has also been the site of more than 68,000 reported cases of the virus, the agency reported.

However, cases of the virus in the state are dwindling in early summer.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Maine did not increase over the past two weeks, going from 66.14 new cases per day on June 9 to 24.14 new cases per day on June 23. The seven-day rolling average of daily deaths in Maine also did not increase over the past two weeks, going from 0.86 deaths per day on June 9 to 0.29 deaths per day on June 23.

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.