With a large increase in vaccine doses this week, Maine CDC officials say now is the best time for residents over age 50 to get their shot.
At a briefing on Tuesday, Maine CDC Director Nirav Shah said that with the increased doses, many vaccination sites have several available appointment slots.
“And Mainers 50 and over, this is what I want to talk to you about today. Please, do not let this opportunity go. Don’t let this virus get to you before a dose of vaccine does,” he said.
State officials say they’re also working on extended public education and outreach efforts, including continued a continued push to reach homebound seniors who can’t access large clinics.
At a briefing on Tuesday, Maine DHHS Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew said the state hadn’t previously needed much public messaging because people were so eager to get vaccinated.
“But now we need to join with different messengers, use different messages. We’re going to follow the Biden administration’s lead — they will be launching a lot more campaigns to basically give people the information and tools that they need to make their decisions on their own,” she said.
The state received more than 72,000 doses of vaccine this week — a 47% increase from last week.
The comments come as the Maine Center for Disease Control reports another 223 COVID-19 cases on Tuesday. Two more people with the disease have died.
The COVID-19 numbers in the state now stand at 50,253 cases and 738 deaths.
Public health officials have expressed concern about a potential resurgence of the disease as variants continue circulating nationally.