- The 7-day average number of cases: 470.1 (down from 486.4 last week)
- The 7-day average number of deaths: 4
- Vaccination rate: 73.3% of eligible Mainers are fully vaccinated
- Hospitalizations: 235 ( 84 in the ICU, 36on ventilators) on Saturday, September 25th.
This week’s summary of COVID-19 news reports on the state’s record peak in hospitalizations and COVID-19 boosters for some Mainers.
Highest Number of Mainers Hospitalized with COVID-19 Ever
Maine’s hospital beds are fuller than they have ever been with COVID-19 patients. Unvaccinated individuals currently fill Maine’s hospital intensive care units in what is now called ‘a pandemic of the unvaccinated.’
Pfizer-BioNTech Booster Shots Recommended For Some, Not All
Studies show that after getting vaccinated against COVID-19, protection against the virus may decrease over time and protect less against the Delta variant.
Booster shot vaccines are like the updates you download for your phone or computer software. Boosters help remind your immune system how best to fight off a virus’s newer versions (like the Delta variant).
After much consideration, the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) made some recommendations about boosters this past week.
The CDC recommended that only those people 65 years and older who were fully vaccinated (received two shots) of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at least six months ago should receive a booster shot.
The CDC said other categories of people fully vaccinated with Pfizer Bio-NTech at least six months ago should receive boosters. These include people who are 18 years and older and live in long-term care settings and people aged 50–64 years with underlying medical conditions such as lung or heart disease.
Other groups of people fully vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine may choose to get a booster if they have an underlying medical condition or are at increased risk for COVID-19 because of their occupation or living situation.
This recommendation covers Mainers living in shelters or communal living arrangements, so long as they are older than 18 and received complete vaccination with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine six months ago. In addition, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky specifically advocated for frontline workers to receive booster shots.
Some of the workers encouraged to get boosters are health care workers, teachers, daycare workers, manufacturing workers, grocery store workers. Booster shots are free of charge, with no ID or insurance card required. For more information about appointments and eligibility, visit https://www.maine.gov/covid19/vaccines.
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is the only FDA and CDC-approved booster at this time. There is not yet enough scientific data to recommend booster shots for people who received the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Public health experts and doctors predict that the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines will also need boosters.
While we wait for vaccines for children younger than age 12 and for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine boosters to be approved, many of Maine’s vulnerable residents lay their health and safety in the hands of the unvaccinated. Getting vaccinated is the way you can help bring more Mainers safely out of the COVID-19 pandemic.