Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah says more than 103,000 people 70 and older in Maine have received at least a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“That’s more than half of the total composition of people 70 and older across the state,” he says.
Maine is still in the first stage of Phase 1B of its vaccination plan. The next eligible group to receive the vaccine will be those 65 and older.
Shah, who appeared as a guest on Maine Calling, says the limited supply of doses continues to be the biggest constraint in getting more people vaccinated. Maine currently receives about 27,000 first doses per week.
Shah says those who have received both doses of COVID-19 vaccine can gather safely together indoors, but should still take precautions. He advises waiting two weeks after getting the second dose for the vaccine to reach full efficacy and taking steps to minimize the risk of transmission.
“As spread out as possible, the windows are cracked open, there’s ventilation happening, and folks are wearing a mask when they are not eating, then yes. I think that is the promise we need to hold out to demonstrate to people that this vaccine is worth it,”
Shah says gathering outdoors is ideal, but the vaccine is very effective and will help keep people safe.
For the second day in a row, no new COVID-19 deaths were reported in Maine. And the state Center for Disease Control has added fewer than 100 cases.
That brings the case total up to 43,594, with 658 deaths, since the pandemic began in Maine. But the average new daily case report is down since January.