After your vaccine
We are pleased that we can share the encouraging news that after experiencing a post-holiday increase in COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations, and deaths, Maine is seeing a steady decline in COVID-19 illnesses. In addition to a decreasing number of new diagnoses, we are also seeing a decline in the percentage of COVID tests that are positive.
The State expects to receive an increase in our weekly allotment of vaccines. InterMed’s Vaccine Clinic currently administers approximately 500 vaccinations per day, and we stand ready to increase our capacity as supply allows.
If you have not received a call or email from us to schedule your vaccination appointment, rest assured that we will be contacting you as soon as we have the vaccine supply to offer to your individual risk group. We continue to appreciate your patience and look forward to contacting you and scheduling your vaccine.
After your vaccine
While we all look forward to the day when we can stop wearing a mask or visit family and friends, we are not there yet, for the following reasons:
- We know the vaccine lowers your risk of contracting COVID-19 and prevents serious disease, but we are not certain whether it prevents a vaccinated person from asymptomatically carrying the virus and passing it to other people. Researchers are hoping to answer this question in the next few weeks.
- Many of our friends, family, and neighbors have not yet received the vaccine, and those who have will not have full immunity for 2 weeks after the second dose.
- While the vaccines have an exceptional 95 percent reported efficacy, it also means that one out of 20 vaccinated people can still become ill with COVID.
- It is unclear how effective the current vaccines are to new variants emerging from the U.K., Brazil, and South Africa.
Maine identified its first case of the U.K. variant last week, and it is likely that others will be identified in the future. The best way to protect yourself and those with whom you have contact is to continue with mask wearing, social distancing, and hand washing.
News reports are touting the benefit of double masking. While a single mask is superior to no mask, early studies show improved protection — up to 95 percent risk reduction — with wearing a tight fitting cloth mask over a surgical style paper mask. To be effective, the mask must cover both your mouth and nose. This is more important as new variants arrive and spread in Maine. Learn more about masks
It has been a long year. Thankfully, we’re seeing significant improvement as the post-holiday surge passes. We have challenges ahead that we are more and more prepared to meet. Thank you in advance for continuing to follow precautions and for protecting yourself and our community.
Please stay safe and well.
Dan Loiselle, MD, Chief Medical Officer, and the entire healthcare team at InterMed