Maine schools have varying COVID-19 vaccination rates among eligible students as the school year begins, reflecting geographic divides that have persisted throughout the state’s vaccination efforts this summer.
Vaccination rates — defined as the share of students having received at least one dose —range from less than 25 percent in a handful of districts in rural Maine to more than 95 percent in a handful of Portland suburbs and other miscellaneous towns, according to data released by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Education on Tuesday.
The state data is not based on surveys from schools, but instead estimated based on zip code-level vaccination rates for youth between the ages of 12 and 18. Children younger than 12 are not yet eligible for any of the COVID-19 vaccines.
The most highly vaccinated districts include Bangor, Falmouth, Yarmouth and West Bath, where more than 95 percent of eligible youth are estimated to be vaccinated, according to the state data.
The least-vaccinated include Cutler Public Schools in Washington County and MSAD 76, which covers Swan’s Island in Hancock County. Both have vaccination rates of less than 20 percent, the data suggest.