Maine becomes fourth state in the nation to surpass the vaccination milestone
Governor Janet Mills announced today that more than 50 percent of eligible Maine people have received a COVID-19 booster shot, making Maine the fourth state in the nation to achieve the milestone.
According to the U.S. CDC, 50.2 percent of fully vaccinated people in Maine – or 519,681 people – have received a booster shot. Only Vermont (55.2 percent), Minnesota (51.7 percent), and Wisconsin (50.3 percent) have higher booster vaccination rates.
Since the introduction of COVID-19 vaccines in December 2020, Maine has been a leader in vaccination and remains one of the most vaccinated states in the nation. For example:
- In just over four months from the authorization and allocation of COVID-19 vaccines to Maine (December 15, 2020 to April 18, 2021), half of eligible Maine residents had received a first dose.
- Less than one month later, on May 7, 2021, half of eligible Maine residents had received a final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. At that time, eligibility was limited to those ages 16 and older.
- By October 2021, more than 70 percent of all Maine residents, accounting for children under 12 who were not then yet eligible for a vaccine, were fully vaccinated against COVID-19, making Maine the fourth state to achieve the milestone.
- Eligibility was lowered to children age 12 on May 10, 2021, and, by September 20, 2021, more than half of kids ages 12 to 15 were fully vaccinated in Maine.
Still, the milestone comes at a time when Maine is experiencing near record-high COVID-19 hospitalizations driven by people who are not vaccinated. As of today, there are a near record high 412 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Maine, including 101 in critical care and 52 on ventilators, leaving only 46 adult intensive care unit (ICU) beds available in Maine.
Governor Janet Mills is continuing to call on Maine people to step up to get their shots:
“Today, more than one hundred people are fighting for their breath in critical care units across this state, many of whom are friends and neighbors who will needlessly die because they decided to take a chance, not get vaccinated and got sick. These painful deaths are easily prevented by vaccines, which are safe and effective. Our heroic, but exhausted, health care workers are pleading with Maine people to get vaccinated, and I continue to urge all Maine people to heed their advice. Getting your shot, regardless of whether it is your first or your third, is the best way to protect your health, to protect our health care system, and to lift the extraordinary burden our health care workers are carrying right now,” said Governor Janet Mills. “To the more than half of eligible Maine people who have received their booster, I am grateful that you have stepped up to get the highest level of protection for yourself, your loved ones, your communities, and our health care system. To everyone else: please do not delay. If you are eligible, get your shot today.”
“In recent weeks, new, reputable studies have concluded that getting a booster shot reduces the risk of death by 90 percent, on top of the protection provided by the first two doses,” said Jeanne Lambrew, Commissioner of Health and Human Services, and Dr. Nirav D. Shah, Director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. “This growing body of research is bolstered by real world evidence that demonstrates the power of rolling up your sleeve to save your own and others’ lives. The message is clear: With Omicron spreading and our health care system under strain, now is the time to get your shot.”