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Governor Janet Mills and Dr. Nirav D. Shah — Director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — hold a virtual conference to update the State’s vaccine strategy. This conference began at 1 p.m. EST on Friday, Feb. 26, 2021.
Mills began by saying that at this time roughly 60 percent of all Maine healthcare workers and facilitators have been vaccinated. From there she stated that after speaking with Shah — and Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services experts — she has decided to base the vaccine strategy on age-based eligibility.
According to data that Shah and Maine’s CDC have gathered; age is a strong indicator of death or severe disease due to COVID-19. Shah shared some slides based on the data that has been gathered.
The data has shown that those who are 50 years or older have been dying due to the virus. According to Mills and Shah, around 98 percent of those ages 50 and older have died because of COVID-19.
Beginning March 3, Mainers age 60 and older will be eligible to be vaccinated. Mills emphasized that these people will be able to receive their vaccination based on availability.
Mills further stated that in April those who are 50 and older will be able to receive their shots. People aged 40 and older will be able to receive their vaccinations in May. In June people 30 and older will be eligible. With everyone else younger than 30-years-old eligible in July.
If vaccine supply and efficiency accelerate then this timeline could be updated. Mills is hopeful that this could be the case so that people can be vaccinated sooner than later. She says that she wants Mainers to continue to wear masks and to follow guidelines.
Shah and Mills fully understand that this update may not be what people want to hear. However, based on the data they see age alone as the main factor to those at risk.
They are hopeful to be able to get more vaccines into Maine so those who are already eligible can receive their shots. Like everywhere — all over the United States — Maine is seeing a slight shortage of the vaccine.
Written by Sheena Robertson
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Featured Image Courtesy of J. Stephen Conn’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License