By Danielle Roslevich
The good news this week is that Mainers are getting vaccinated at a faster rate against Covid-19 than in the past, with 74.7% of the population statewide now fully vaccinated. Over the past week, the average number of doses being administered per day has been 9,882 doses, and of those 6,745 per day are booster shots. This represents a 74% increase in overall vaccination rate in the past two weeks.
The bad news is that Maine also has a record number of patients on ventilators, and 381 individuals were hospitalized this week due to Covid-19. Of these hospitalizations, 114 patients are in critical care units and 66 are on ventilators. Two of every three people in hospitals in Maine are not fully vaccinated. The numbers of hospitalized Mainers continue to rise for the unvaccinated.
The first cases of the Omicron variant have been detected in Maine. Based on early data worldwide, scientists believe that the Omicron variant is even more contagious than the Delta variant, which was at the time the most contagious Covid-19 variant. The Omicron variant spreads more rapidly and easily than previous variants.
Vaccines remain the most effective protection against the Omicron variant, and scientists are working on development of a new vaccine against the variant, should that be needed. Booster shots of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines provide the most effective protection against the variant available at this moment. Boosters protect and strengthen one’s immune system.
The Maine CDC urges everyone to get fully vaccinated, which means a booster shot as well as the original dose(s). To find a vaccination site for your first, final, or booster shot, please visit: www.maine.gov/covid19/vaccines/vaccination-sites