November 7, 2021 7-day metrics
Cases: 2,802 Total cases: 107,772
% Positivity: 5.9%
Deaths: 43 Total deaths: 1207
% Eligible Population Fully Vaccinated: 72.24%
Total Hospitalizations: 212
ICU: 76 ICU beds available: 56 of 363
On a ventilator: 35 Ventilators available: 209 of 305
This week, the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) endorsed the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for the age group 5 to 11. Based on that recommendation, the US FDA has issued an Emergency Use Authorization, and children in Maine are now eligible to get their vaccines.
During Wednesday’s Maine CDC Briefing, Dr. Shah, the director, discussed why it is important that children in this age group are vaccinated, and how parents can go about getting their children vaccinated.
Dr. Shah shared five major reasons parents should get their 5 to 11 year old children vaccinated:
- The vaccine is safe. Hundreds of millions of doses of the vaccine have been administered in the U.S., and the dosage for children ages 5 to 11 is even smaller than the dosage for other age groups. Some people have expressed concern about myocarditis— inflammation of the heart muscles. However, of the 86 million doses administered in this age group, the U.S. CDC is aware of only 877 reported cases of myocarditis. None of these children has died, and over 90% have fully recovered in a matter of days. In fact, the risk of contracting myocarditis from Covid-19 itself (150 people per 100K who get Covid-19) is 15 times higher than the risk of myocarditis from the vaccine (10 people per 100K who get vaccinated).
- The vaccine is effective. The clinical trial supporting the authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for this age group included 4647 children and followed them to see if they developed Covid-19. After the analysis, Pfizer reported that the vaccine had a 90.7% efficacy rate in preventing symptomatic Covid-19 during this trial.
- Vaccination reduces the risk of becoming seriously ill or hospitalized. Children can and do become seriously ill from Covid-19. Of all Covid-19 cases across Maine, seven percent have been children. There are 79,000 children ages 5 to 11 in Maine; 1 of every 11 children in this age group has had Covid-19. Of those children, 41 have been hospitalized and at least 12 them have been in intensive care. Currently in Maine, four children are hospitalized, with two in the intensive care unit. Vaccines reduce the risk of Covid-19 and the risk of becoming hospitalized from Covid-19.
- Vaccinating your child protects others. Covid-19 is extremely contagious and spreads quickly among households and those in close contact. Vaccinating children will protect one’s entire family, especially those who are immunocompromised or ineligible for the vaccine.
- Covid vaccines are free for everyone. Becoming ill from Covid-19 is expensive, and vaccination saves families time and money. Further, vaccination reduces disruptions from needing to quarantine and stay home sick.
Vaccinations for children ages 5 to 11 in Maine will be available at community clinics, pharmacies (all Walmart pharmacies, some Walgreens and Hannaford pharmacies), doctor offices and school clinics in partnerships with Maine DHHS. Families can search for vaccination sites at www.maine.gov/covid19/vaccines/vaccination-sites. Sites can be searched by location, age, or other parameters. Additional sites will be added periodically, and families are encouraged to check often.