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Health

Vaccination Rates Are Up Among Young Mainers

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Patty Wight
/
Maine Public
Student Katherine Halle gets her first dose of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School

COVID-19 related hospitalizations in Maine continue to fall, with 87 people currently as of Wednesday receiving in-patient care. That's down from 118 people a week ago.

And Maine CDC Director Nirav Shah says vaccination rates are up among younger adults.

"We have seen essentially a doubling in the past 30 days, from May 1 to June 1, of vaccination rates of people in their 20s, 30s, and 40s," Shah says.

In recent days, Shah says 12 to 15-year-olds have accounted for a large number of vaccinations. Nearly 21,000 kids in that age group have received a first dose.

In addition, state officials say more than 5,000 Mainers participated last month in the state's vaccine incentive program.

Maine DHHS Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew says that from May 11th through Memorial Day, 5,365 residents participated in the initiative, which encouraged unvaccinated Mainers to get their shot by offering state park passes and L.L.Bean gift cards, among other incentives.

"And it's also noticeable that when we looked county by county, we did find that some of those counties where our rates were relatively low, we did see relatively high take-up of these incentives, such as Aroostook County and Kennebec County," Lambrew says.

About 59% of eligible Mainers have received their final dose of the vaccine, according to Maine CDC data.