• October 16, 2021 7-day metrics for Maine
  • Cases: 2,801 — Total cases: 97,725
  • % Positivity: 5-7.9%
  • Deaths: 19 Total deaths: 1,095
  • % Eligible Population Fully Vaccinated: 78.9%
  • Total Hospitalizations: 168 (150 last week)
  • ICU: 60 (48 last week) — ICU beds available: 44 of 338
  • On a ventilator: 29 (21 last week)

Maine has been administering 4008 doses of Covid-19 vaccinations per day on average this week, which is a 48% increase from two weeks prior. Over the same two week period, first doses declined from 825 to 739 doses, while second doses increased from 577 to 1241. As for third doses, 2473 have been administered per day on average in the past 14 days.

During Wednesday’s press briefing, Director of the Maine Center for Disease Control Dr. Nirav Shah was asked about the potential for vaccines in children ages 5 to 11 to finally control the pandemic. He noted that although the vaccines will create antibodies in children to protect them individually from Covid-19, and reduce the likelihood of their ending up in the hospital or in intensive care, officials are unsure at this time of the extent to which vaccinating this age group will keep other individuals or populations safe. The vaccine is not yet available to children ages 5 to 11.

Dr. Shah suggested that more data will be necessary to examine the overall effect of vaccinating this age group on a larger population level. He anticipates that it will not necessarily be 5 to 11-year-olds becoming vaccinated that will be the key to bending the curve in Maine, but rather vaccinating at least 80,000 more individuals statewide may be a significant turning point.

The US Food and Drug Administration Advisory Committee will meet on October 26th to review data and discuss scientific findings for Pfizer vaccines specifically for ages 5-11. Those who are interested in findings can access the webcast of the meetings on the FDA website. The FDA also plans to livestream them on the agency’s YouTube page, which will be available for viewing on the agency’s Facebook and Twitter channels.

At the most recent FDA Advisory Committee meetings for Covid-19 vaccines, the panel voted unanimously, 19-0, in favor of authorizing booster shots of the Moderna vaccine for people ages 65 and older; those 18 to 64 who are immunocompromised; and those whose occupations place them at high risk for Covid-19 complications. These are the same population groups recommended for the Pfizer vaccine boosters.

The panel also unanimously voted that all individuals who have received a Johnson & Johnson vaccine should receive a second dose. The panel believes this vaccine requires two doses to be effective, similar to Moderna and Pfizer. However, the panel declined to hold a vote as expected on a “mix and match” vaccine approach, as the data was very limited with only 17 participants in the relevant study.