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Only half of Maine's nursing home residents have received the latest Covid vaccine

DeMarcus Hicks, a recent graduate of nursing school who is working as a contractor with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, gives a person a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster shot, Dec. 20, 2021, in Federal Way, Wash.
Ted S. Warren
/
AP file
DeMarcus Hicks, a recent graduate of nursing school who is working as a contractor with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, gives a person a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster shot, Dec. 20, 2021, in Federal Way, Wash.

Only 50% of nursing home residents in Maine have received the latest COVID vaccine, according to data from the U.S. CDC. That's down from 90% just over a year ago. A new analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation says one reason for declining vaccination rates is the absence of federal initiatives such as clinics.

Angela Westhoff, CEO of the Maine Health Care Association, says another factor is vaccine fatigue.

"As we have seen cases of COVID come down and the mortality rate has dropped dramatically from where we were at the height of the pandemic, sometimes that equates to people not being interested or as interested in getting another vaccine or a booster to up to date on their shots," she says.

Maine 's 50% nursing home vaccination rate is lower than the 76% in Vermont, but higher than the U.S. average of 40%.

Westhoff says the Association is currently working with Maine's Long Term Care Ombudsman on a campaign to boost vaccinations at long term care facilities.