June 22, 2021
The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) today published new data on the percentage of health care workers in Maine who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The dashboard serves several purposes. It helps target vaccination and infection control efforts as well as staff surveillance testing in long-term care settings. It also helps the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) better understand and combat outbreaks in health care settings. Maine residents may also use this information when choosing a hospital or residential care setting.
The federal government requires reporting of staff vaccination rates for nursing homes, and Maine is additionally requiring hospitals and some other health care facilities to collect and report this information. DHHS will continue to publicly post health care staff vaccination rates by facility each month to encourage ongoing vaccination of health care staff and to inform the public about the risk of COVID-19 transmission in these settings, which serve Maine people at high risk of serious illness or death from the virus.
For the May reporting period, ambulatory surgical centers reported the highest average vaccination rate (78.1%), followed by hospitals (73.5%), assisted housing (72.1%), nursing homes (67%), and intermediate care facilities serving individuals with intellectual disabilities (58.8%). These averages vary within each type of setting. For example, the COVID-19 vaccination rate of hospital staff ranges from 52.1 percent (St. Mary’s Regional Health Center) to 92.3 percent (Millinocket Regional Hospital). Information at the national level also suggests that the vaccination rate may differ by job types. A survey by the American Medical Association in June 2021 found that 96 percent of physicians have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19, with no significant regional differences.
Maine prioritized health and long-term care settings in December 2020 when COVID-19 vaccinations were first authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Maine nursing facilities were part of the nationwide retail pharmacy program for long-term care through which CVS and Walgreens provided on-site vaccine clinics. This was complemented by long-term care clinics run by Maine CDC Public Health Nurses, independent pharmacies, and the health systems. Efforts continue today to vaccinate staff and residents in health care facilities through pop-up clinics, long-term care pharmacies, and regular supply of vaccines to these settings.
The COVID-19 vaccine continues to be widely available in Maine, at no cost and often with no appointment necessary. For a list of vaccination sites, visit the State’s vaccine website or call the Community Vaccination Line at 1-888-445-4111.