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Maine To Get $18 Million To Help With Racial Disparity In COVID-19 Vaccination

Charlotte Lee
Jacquelyn Martin
AP file
In this Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021, photo a person receives their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic at Howard University, in Washington.

The Biden administration says Maine will receive $18 million in federal funds to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates among racial and ethnic communities.

The slug of federal dollars is designed to increase vaccine availability and equity among populations that have been harder hit during the pandemic.

Most of the money must be used to increase vaccination rates and acceptance among those communities and will be directed to local health departments and health centers.

According to an analysis by the Kaiser Health Family Foundation, a higher percentage of white Mainers have been vaccinated than people identifying as Black, Hispanic or Asian — a trend mirrored by the entire U.S.

All told, 41% of Maine residents have received their first dose, while 28% have received their final dose, according to data from the state CDC.

The additional funding comes from the American Rescue Plan, the nearly $2 trillion pandemic stimulus bill passed by Democrats in Congress.