PORTLAND, Maine — The percent of people in Maine fully vaccinated against COVID-19 decreased for the second day in a row on Tuesday.
On Friday, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported 70.5% of people in the entire state had been fully vaccinated against the virus. Of those eligible for the shot, including those aged 5 and older, 74% had received a final dose.
On Monday, and again on Tuesday, that percent dropped. As of Tuesday, 65.99% of the entire population of Maine was fully vaccinated.
Maine Department of Health and Human Services spokeswoman Jackie Farwell said in a statement:
"The Maine Immunization Program regularly works with vaccine providers to validate information for the dashboard.
As part of that process, the dashboard update reflects a reclassification of doses from the Final Dose category to the Additional/Booster Dose category."
On Monday, the number of final doses dropped by 45,367 and were reclassified as booster doses. On Tuesday, the state reclassified another 15,706 final doses as, in fact, boosters.
"In the days immediately following U.S. CDC’s recent expansion of COVID-19 vaccine authorizations, including allowing for boosters down to those 12-15 and allowing for mRNA booster doses to be given five months after the second dose in the primary vaccination series, some Maine vaccine clinics recorded additional or booster doses as final doses," Farwell explained by e-mail. "The State of Maine continues to work with our dashboard vendor to properly display and update the latest numbers to reflect the correction of those actions."
The percentage is significantly less than what the U.S. CDC reports as Maine's vaccination rate: it says 76.4% of Mainers are fully vaccinated. NEWS CENTER Maine has reached out to the Maine CDC and DHHS for clarity on which data more accurately represents the state's current vaccination rate.
We will update this article when we receive a response.