People over 60 will qualify for COVID-19 vaccines in the change to the age-based system

AUGUSTA, Maine – Maine will extend eligibility for coronavirus vaccination to approximately 200,000 more residents between the ages of 60 and 69 beginning Wednesday and then change the prioritization to be based on age alone, Gov. Janet Mills said Friday.

Mainers age 50 and older will be eligible in April, 40 and over in May, 30 and over in June, and younger Mainers after that. That age-based system replaces an earlier plan to prioritize adults with underlying conditions, as well as some frontline workers after Mainers age 70 and older who are currently eligible, and would be the only ones in the country exactly the same.

Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said Friday that the shift to an age-based approach was based on data suggesting that age, even more so than serious underlying medical conditions, was the predictor. stronger from a serious illness. Ninety-eight percent of virus deaths in Maine occur in people over the age of 50, he noted. Maine is the oldest state in the nation by median age.

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