Originally published in Castine Patriot, October 7, 2021 and Island Ad-Vantages, October 7, 2021 and The Weekly Packet, October 7, 2021
COVID-19 booster shots available locally
Booster demand causes surge in vaccinations
by Leslie Landrigan
People who’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19 and who want a booster shot can get one at several places on the Island and Peninsula.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people who got the Pfizer vaccine get booster shots if they’re 65 and older. They should also get them if they’re living in long-term care facilities or over 50 with underlying medical conditions, the CDC says. The Pfizer vaccine is the only one approved as a third shot, though Johnson & Johnson has asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for authorization as a booster.
Mainers who got third shots caused an uptick in the COVID-19 vaccination rate during the week starting September 26, according to Dr. Nirav Shah, Maine CDC director, in an October 4 interview with Maine Public Radio. The average number of people who were vaccinated daily rose 87 percent that week, according to Maine CDC.
In addition, Gov. Janet Mills’ mandate that health care workers get COVID-19 vaccinations took effect on October 1.
The most recent surge in COVID-19 cases shows some signs of abating.
Hospitalization rates in Maine are down slightly after reaching an all-time high of 235 on September 25. By October 4, that number fell to 192.
Public health officials say nearly all of the most seriously ill patients—those on ventilators and in ICUs—are unvaccinated.
The number of new COVID-19 cases has fallen by about a third throughout the United States, according to the CDC.
Where to get a booster shot
In Blue Hill, people can get booster and other COVID-19 shots at TradeWinds’ Community Pharmacy, Walgreens and Northern Light Blue Hill Hospital. In Ellsworth, they can go to Northern Light Maine Coast Hospital, Walgreens, Hannaford and Shaws.
CDC recommends waiting six months after the last shot to get a booster.
Check the Maine Center for Disease Control website for updates and more information at maine.gov/covid19/vaccines/vaccination-sites#vaccsites3.