The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported 542 new COVID-19 cases and two additional deaths on Saturday as vaccine eligibility is likely to be expanded to young children over the next few weeks. The number of people hospitalized with the coronavirus in Maine has increased slightly.
People 12 years old and older are now eligible for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, and states will soon reserve smaller doses for younger children, with vaccinations likely to be approved for children between the ages of 5 and 11. That’s about 28 million children across the country, a population that has a lower risk of serious illness and death than older adults – but still some risk. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, more than 540 children have died of COVID-19 in the United States
The cumulative COVID-19 cases in Maine rose to 97,725 on Saturday. Of these, 69,647 have been confirmed through testing and 28,078 are considered likely cases of COVID-19. Saturday’s case numbers brought the 7-day average of the new daily cases to 396.7 and the 14-day average to 446.9.
One thousand and ninety-five people have died of COVID-19 in Maine since the pandemic began, and 169 people were hospitalized across the state with the disease on Saturday, three more than on Friday. Information on the two people who died on Saturday was not available from the CDC in Maine.
Last week, an advisory panel to the Food and Drug Administration also recommended a booster dose of Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot vaccine, at least two months after the starting dose. All three vaccines available in the US – Pfizer, Moderna, and J&J – are effective against COVID-19, but experts had concerns that the J&J vaccine offered less protection than the others, especially against the more virulent Delta variant.
As of Saturday morning, Maine had given 892,881 people the final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Of the people aged 12 and over who are currently eligible for vaccination, 75.4 percent are now fully vaccinated.
Maine had 6,680 “breakthrough” cases as of Friday occurring when a fully vaccinated person becomes infected with COVID-19. Unvaccinated people still make up the vast majority of cases and are also much more likely to develop more severe illnesses when they become infected. For comparison, there have been a total of 61,999 cases since COVID-19 vaccines became available to Mainers.
County by county, there were 10,339 coronavirus cases in Androscoggin, 3,653 in Aroostook, 21,238 in Cumberland, 2,114 in Franklin, 2,591 in Hancock, 9,299 in Kennebec, 1,833 in Knox, 1,719 in Lincoln, 4,815 in Oxford, 11,665 in Penobscot, 1,260 in Piscataquis, 1,889 in Sagadahoc, 4,015 in Somerset, 2,275 in Waldo, 1,702 in Washington and 17,310 in York.
By age, 20.8 percent of the patients were under 20 years old, 17.7 percent were 20 years old, 15.3 percent were 30 years old, 13.2 percent were 40 years old, 13.6 percent were 50 years old, 9.9 percent were 60 years old, 5.4 percent were in their 70s, and 4 percent were 80 or older.
Of the 169 patients with COVID-19 in Maine hospitals on Saturday, 60 were in intensive care and 31 were on ventilators. In the state hospitals, 43 out of a total of 340 beds in intensive care units and 200 out of 305 ventilators were available.
Globally, there were 240.2 million known cases of COVID-19 and 4.89 million deaths on Saturday afternoon, according to Johns Hopkins University. In the United States there were 44.9 million cases and 724,105 deaths.
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