The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Saturday reported 289 cases of COVID-19 and one new death as the state’s adult population passed the 50 percent milestone for full vaccination this week.
Mainers 16 and older are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at a rate of 51.15 percent, according to CDC statistics. MaineHealth this week opened vaccine registration to teenagers as well, anticipating federal approval of the Pfizer vaccine for ages 12 to 15. Young people, meanwhile, are still driving new cases. Of Saturday’s 289 new cases, 135 were in people under 30, or about 47 percent.
Maine’s cumulative COVID-19 cases rose to 63,750 on Saturday. Of those, 47,202 have been confirmed by testing and 16,548 are considered probable cases of COVID-19. The seven-day average of new daily cases was 304.9.
Seven hundred ninety-five people have died with COVID-19 in Maine since the pandemic began. Information about the person reported Saturday to have died wasn’t yet available from the Maine CDC.
Maine still has among the highest vaccination rates in the country, with its full vaccination rate 10 percentage points above the national average. Only Connecticut, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Vermont were ahead of Maine in percentage of population having received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
“I am proud to report that more than half of Maine people have received their final dose of a vaccine – but there is more work to do to get this pandemic behind us,” Gov. Janet Mills said in a statement Friday. “We will continue our efforts to expand access to the vaccine, to get into hard-to-reach communities and to deliver shots into arms. I encourage everyone to get vaccinated so that we can defeat this virus and its variants and get back to normal as soon as possible.”
Information about vaccination centers and booking appointments is available at https://www.maine.gov/covid19/vaccines/vaccination-sites.
Pfizer, meanwhile, is seeking full approval for its COVID-19 vaccine, and schools such as the University of Maine are closely watching. The vaccine currently has an emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration, and some schools have been reluctant to require vaccination until the shots are fully approved.
If the Pfizer vaccine does receive full approval, the University of Maine System is likely to require it for students and staff this fall, Chancellor Dannel Malloy said.
“I think people are entitled to know that it has been fully tested and vetted before we as a state system would require it,” Malloy said.
Bowdoin College and the University of New England, among others, already have made vaccination mandatory.
By Saturday morning, Maine had given 652,242 people the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 575,539 had received a final dose. Out of the state’s population of 1.3 million, 48.52 percent had received a first dose.
Among people 16 and older, the population currently eligible for vaccination, 51.15 percent are now fully vaccinated.
County by county as of Saturday, there had been 7,668 coronavirus cases in Androscoggin, 1,710 in Aroostook, 16,561 in Cumberland, 1,266 in Franklin, 1,250 in Hancock, 5,938 in Kennebec, 1,048 in Knox, 949 in Lincoln, 3,381 in Oxford, 5,588 in Penobscot, 479 in Piscataquis, 1,342 in Sagadahoc, 2,003 in Somerset, 890 in Waldo, 845 in Washington and 12,832 in York.
By age, 18.3 percent of patients were under 20, while 18.6 percent were in their 20s, 14.8 percent were in their 30s, 13.4 percent were in their 40s, 14.7 percent were in their 50s, 10.5 percent were in their 60s, 5.4 percent were in their 70s, and 4.4 percent were 80 or older.
Around the world on Saturday, there were more than 157 million known cases of COVID-19 and 3.27 million deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. The United States had 32.6 million cases and 581,000 deaths.
This story will be updated.