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Maine CDC Looks To Boost Vaccination Rate In Androscoggin County

Sharon Daley, Maureen Giffen
Robert F. Bukaty
Nurses Sharon Daley, left, and Maureen Giffen fill syringes with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in a makeshift clinic in the kitchen of a community center, Friday, March 19, 2021, on Great Cranberry Island, Maine.

The Maine CDC is trying to boost vaccination rates in Androscoggin County as cases and hospitalizations increase in the region.

Maine CDC Director Nirav Shah says that some of the cases in recent weeks were related to an outbreak at Bates College, but the county continues to see community transmission, as well.

Shah says that the county's relatively low vaccination rate could be one reason behind the numbers, and the state is communicating with providers to see if they need more vaccine supply.

"Simultaneously working with others to see how we could stimulate demand. Do we need to do more PSAs, do we need to have more hours, do we need to bring vaccines even closer to people? We're working on all of those things to make vaccine the easy option in Androscoggin County," he says.

About 33% of eligible residents in the county have received their final dose — one of the lowest rates in the state.

Shah's comments come as the Maine CDC records another 403 cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, as well as one new death.

The total number of cases identified by the agency now sits at 58,868. And 769 people with the disease have died.

More than one million forty thousand doses of the vaccine have been administered throughout the state.

As Wednesday morning, 110 Mainers were hospitalized with the disease, with 39 in critical care and 15 on ventilators.