Jun. 19—The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Saturday reported 43 new cases of COVID-19 and no additional deaths, with state officials dialing back their vaccination campaign as the population nears a 65 percent rate of immunization.
Of the 1.18 million Mainers eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, 64.53 percent have received a final dose as of Saturday. Meanwhile, state and federal officials have closed down mass vaccination programs through the Portland Expo and the FEMA mobile vaccine clinic, moving instead to a vaccine lottery with cash prizes, in hopes of keeping up demand.
Maine's cumulative COVID-19 cases rose to 68,794 on Saturday. Of those, 50,308 have been confirmed by testing and 18,486 are considered probable cases of COVID-19. The seven-day average of new daily cases was 36.3, while the 14-day average was 45.7 cases.
Eight hundred fifty-four people have died with COVID-19 in Maine since the pandemic began.
Gov. Janet Mills announced the vaccine lottery, titled "Don't Miss Your Shot: Vaccinationland Sweepstakes," last week, and within 24 hours over 100,000 people had signed up for a chance to win up to $1 million.
The size of the prize depends on how many people get vaccinated by July 4. Just one winner will take the pot on Independence Day.
Residents 12 and older who have received at least one dose of the Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine since Dec. 15, 2020, may enter by visiting maine.gov/covid19/vaccines or by calling 888-445-4111.
Entrants must register using an email address by 11:59 p.m. on June 30.
By Saturday morning, Maine had given 764,171 people the final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Among people 12 and older, the population currently eligible for vaccination, 64.53 percent are now fully vaccinated.
Other states have been trying similar incentives to keep vaccine doses flowing. In Ohio, state officials reported a 28 percent rise in vaccinations the weekend after the announcement of that state's "Vax-A-Million" drawing in May. The lottery offered five $1 million prizes to vaccinated entrants over 18, as well as scholarships for children 12-17.
Maine's rate of vaccination has been slowing slightly, and public health officials warn that many of the people now in hospitals with severe COVID-19 cases are unvaccinated. On Thursday, Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine CDC, said that 23 of 27 COVID-19 patients in hospitals around the state were unvaccinated.
County by county as of Saturday, there had been 8,380 coronavirus cases in Androscoggin, 1,895 in Aroostook, 17,221 in Cumberland, 1,377 in Franklin, 1,371 in Hancock, 6,589 in Kennebec, 1,145 in Knox, 1,078 in Lincoln, 3,634 in Oxford, 6,316 in Penobscot, 580 in Piscataquis, 1,473 in Sagadahoc, 2,277 in Somerset, 1,049 in Waldo, 936 in Washington and 13,472 in York.
By age, 18.9 percent of patients were under 20, while 18.3 percent were in their 20s, 15.2 percent were in their 30s, 13.4 percent were in their 40s, 14.5 percent were in their 50s, 10.2 percent were in their 60s, 5.3 percent were in their 70s, and 4.2 percent were 80 or older.
Maine hospitals on Saturday had 30 patients with COVID-19, of whom 15 were in intensive care and six were on ventilators. The state had 85 intensive care unit beds available of a total 373, and 230 ventilators available of 319. There were also 451 alternative ventilators.
Around the world on Saturday morning, there were 177.8 million known cases of COVID-19 and 3.85 million deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. The United States had 33.5 million cases and over 601,000 deaths.