MAINE, USA — Maine has come a long way since the vaccination effort began in December. More than 1.3 million vaccine doses have now been administered, and data from the U.S. CDC shows Maine leading the country with the greatest percentage of adults fully vaccinated.
As of Sunday, 62.9 percent of Mainers 18 and older are fully vaccinated. Fellow New England states are close behind:
- Maine—62.9 percent
- Connecticut—62.8 percent
- Vermont—62.7 percent
- Massachusetts—61.4 percent
- Rhode Island—60.7 percent
These states are among 25 states, and the District of Columbia, with more than half of their adult population fully vaccinated.
In Maine, people age 12 or older are eligible for the vaccine, and 58.9 percent of those age 12 and older are fully vaccinated. Among Maine’s older population 89.37 of Mainers age 70-79 had received a final dose of the vaccine as of Sunday.
In a statement to NEWS CENTER Maine on Monday, Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, praised Maine's efforts, thanking Gov. Janet Mills and Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Nirav Shah for their "outstanding leadership" through the pandemic.
"Mainers lead the nation in vaccinations because we value the health and wellbeing of our neighbors," Pingree said. "Governor Mills and Dr. Shah have shown outstanding leadership throughout the pandemic. Thank you all for doing your part to get vaccinated. Let’s keep going. Dirigo!"
“Maine’s impressive vaccination numbers are an example of what we can achieve when we come together as a community," Maine Sen. Susan Collins said in a statement to NEWS CENTER Maine. "With the remarkable efforts made by health care professionals, hospitals, community health centers, volunteers, the Maine CDC, and the Maine National Guard, our state has been able to distribute these life-saving shots to Mainers quickly and efficiently. I am proud of our state for leading the way in ending this terrible pandemic through vaccinations, which are the key to returning to normalcy.”
Maine Sen. Angus King said, “Vaccines have been proven to be safe and effective way to protect yourself and your loved ones from COVID-19, which is why I am so encouraged by Maine’s continued leadership in vaccinating our population. This distinction is a credit to the Governor and our other state and local health officials -- who have done an excellent job of clearly communicating the vaccines’ benefits and effectively administering the shots – and speaks to the way that Maine people will take personal steps to support the health and safety of our communities. As these numbers continue to increase, and with our neighboring states also seeing high vaccination rates, I am optimistic for a safe and busy summer!”
Meanwhile, southern and midwestern states continue to lag in their efforts. In Mississippi, 34.4 percent of the adult population has been fully vaccinated. Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, and Arkansas are also still below the 40 percent mark.
Earlier this month, President Joe Biden set a new vaccination goal to deliver at least one dose to 70 percent of adult Americans by July 4. The goal also includes fully vaccinating 160 million adults by that date.
According to the U.S. CDC, as of Sunday, 49.6 percent of American adults had received a final dose, while 61.3 percent had received at least one dose of the vaccine.