PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine's mobile coronavirus vaccine unit is being redirected to southern parts of the state later this month and will wrap up service in two weeks.
The state has used the mobile unit to provide the vaccine to rural and underserved communities. It's scheduled to continue that effort in Madawaska in far northern Maine from June 5 to 7.
Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Nirav Shah said the mobile unit will then come to Portland and Old Orchard Beach. Its final day in service will be in Old Orchard Beach on June 18.
That represents a shift in strategy for the unit, Shah said. Moving it to high population centers in its final days will allow it to serve many people before it closes, he said. The unit will also be able to offer some of the numerous hospitality workers in southern Maine a shot, Shah said during a Maine Public appearance Thursday.
“For much of the mobile vaccination unit's drive through Maine, it has focused on rural Maine,” he said.
The unit can do about 500 shots a day, Shah said. It has provided more than 9,000 vaccinations, mostly to rural Maine residents, he said.
In other pandemic news in Maine:
The number of daily new coronavirus cases continued to drop.
The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Maine did not increase over the past two weeks, going from 213.00 new cases a day on May 19 to 80.43 new cases a day on Wednesday. The seven-day rolling average of daily deaths in Maine did not increase over the past two weeks, going from 2.57 deaths a day on May 19 to 1.71 deaths a day Wednesday.
The AP is using data collected by Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering to measure outbreak caseloads and deaths across the United States.
Public health authorities in Maine reported on Friday that more than 60% of eligible people in the state are fully vaccinated against coronavirus. They also reported the state has surpassed 68,000 cases of coronavirus since the start of the pandemic. The state has also been the site of 838 deaths.
Follow AP’s coverage of the pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic.