Alex Bernier, 16, of Minot, Maine, receives a dose of a COVID-19 vaccination, Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Auburn. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

PORTLAND, Maine — More than half the eligible population is now fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in every county in Maine.

Maine has one of the highest vaccination rates in the U.S. More than two-thirds of the population of people who are age 12 and older is fully vaccinated. However, some rural parts of the state lag behind the Portland area.

Data from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services show that rural counties are catching up somewhat. The county with the lowest rate of eligible people fully vaccinated is Somerset, where the rate is about 53 percent. That’s still a higher number than many states.

The highest rate is in Cumberland County, the location of Portland and the most populated county in the state. The rate there is about 80 percent.

Some mostly rural counties in Maine have higher vaccination rates than the state average. The rate in Hancock County is more than 68 percent, and in Lincoln it’s about 73 percent.

More than 60 percent of the state’s entire population is vaccinated, according to data from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. That population figure includes people too young to receive a coronavirus vaccine.

Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah reminded residents in a video posted by the agency Tuesday that the vaccines are safe and effective.

“No corners were cut — red tape was cut,” Shah said. “That’s how we got the vaccines as quickly as we did.”

Patrick Whittle, The Associated Press