Maine set a new daily record Wednesday for the number of COVID-19 vaccines administered in the state, delivering more than 17,000 doses into people’s arms.
Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah announced the milestone during a news conference Thursday. He also indicated that the state has been delivering approximately 12,612 doses every day over a seven-day period.
“We’ve got more work to do to expand that number, but we are trending in the right direction,” Shah said.
Shah said vaccination rates have accelerated by nearly 50 percent over the past week. Currently, one in eight Mainers have received either both doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine, or the single shot required for Johnson & Johnson’s.
Shah cautioned that Maine is only receiving an increase of 520 doses of COVID-19 vaccine next week, for a total of about 34,000 doses. But he expects to see more significant increases in a few weeks and said that the state’s strategy to open up eligibility each month to different age bands is still in play
“Right now we think that we’ll be able to stay with the approximations of month by month expansions of age tiers,” he said.
Beginning on Friday, the state will hold several vaccine clinics for educators 60 and over in partnership with health care providers.
State health officials also announced Thursday that it will soon become easier to visit residents in long term care facilities.
Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew said the department would be issuing a memo about the changes this afternoon, which follow new federal guidance that allow visitation indoors regardless of vaccination status, except in certain circumstances where there’s a high risk of COVID-19 transmission.
“We recognize the fact that the physical separation of residents of long term care facilities has huge consequences, be it anxiety or depression or confusion,” Lambrew said.
Robbie Feinberg and Patty Wight, Maine Public
This article appears through a media partnership with Maine Public.