Updated COVID vaccine now available in Maine
Mainers can start making appointments to get the updated COVID vaccine, which is already available at pharmacies such as CVS.
The Maine CDC says the vaccine will be more widely available beginning next week.
The agency's new director, Dr. Puthiery Va, says even though Maine is not experiencing the same level of COVID hospitalizations and deaths as at the peak of the pandemic, numbers are rising — and getting the shot will offer protection.
"Since January 2023, we have seen 296 deaths due to COVID," says Va. "Most of the deaths are among those that are 50 and older. And very similar to what the CDC is reporting, and across the United States, half of those deaths are actually happening among those who are 80-plus years old."
People six months and older are eligible for the update even if they have not been vaccinated in the past.
The cost is covered by most insurance. For individuals without insurance, the U.S. CDC's Bridge Access program is making free doses available at pharmacies and Federally Qualified Health Centers.