Rural Maine counties hit hard by coronavirus, young residents getting vaccinated

Published: Oct. 27, 2021 at 4:26 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - Young people in rural counties are leading the way in those getting the coronavirus vaccine in Maine.

That’s good, because state health officials say those areas are getting hit hard by the virus.

Dr. Nirav Shah said Wednesday that residents of counties like Piscataquis and Washington are seeing a rise in demand for shots.

This comes as the state’s hospitalization rates near all-time highs.

The 209 Mainers in the hospital as of Wednesday is 24% higher than 2 weeks ago.

Shah says we are experiencing what other states did last year.

Pockets of Maine that had largely been isolated from exposure - are seeing it creep in.

“In comparison to other parts of the country where even in rural areas, the rural southeast, the rural south, the virus had made its way through there leaving people with varying degrees of immunity previously, based on when the waves came through,” explained Shah. “Up here in northern New England, that Delta variant, when it arrived here and started moving into rural areas, essentially came upon a population of individuals with no prior exposure, and thus virtually no prior immunity.”

Shah says that as of Wednesday night the state had only 46 critical care beds open.

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