New cases of COVID-19, particularly among younger Maine residents rises.
Much like other U.S. governors, Governor Mills has led the state’s pandemic response by using emergency powers to make unilateral decisions about business and gathering restrictions, mask-wearing, and vaccination prioritization.
Governor Mills has made updates to Maine’s evolving vaccination program. The Mills Administration changed to age-based prioritization but has since accelerated eligibility three times in the past few months. Governor Janet Mills is accelerating her administration’s vaccination drive as it as a surge in weeks. The Mills Administration is now allowing COVID vaccinations for all people ages 16 and older.
Mills’ decision coincides with another surge in COVID cases that is particularly among younger residents. In March, Mainers under age 30 accounted for about 34% of all new cases, according to Maine CDC data. The same age group drove high case counts this week.
Maine is averaging nearly 16,000 doses administered each day; 43% of those eligible have received a first dose, while 30% have had their final dose. The state ranks fourth in the country in vaccination rates when adjusting for population, according to a Bloomberg News tracking page.
Additionally, falling infection rates among age groups that had previously been at the front of the vaccine line suggests the Mills administration could benefit from the early opening for people ages 16 and older. If vaccine supply and vaccination rates continue to swell, the state could begin to level COVID infections among the younger residents that are currently driving up case counts.