AUGUSTA — The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Saturday reported 603 cases of COVID-19 and four additional deaths, lending to a steady increase in case averages as, nationally, the U.S. CDC endorsed booster shots for millions of Americans.

The federal CDC on Thursday recommended boosters for people 65 and older, as well as those with high-risk health problems. A panel of experts advising the CDC voted against booster shots for people 14 to 64 and people who work in health care. But CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky disagreed with that last decision, and is including health care workers in the CDC’s final booster recommendation, as well as people who work in high-risk institutional settings such as prisons.

Maine’s cumulative COVID-19 cases rose to 83,909 on Saturday. Of those, 60,042 have been confirmed by testing and 23,867 are considered probable cases of COVID-19. The new data raised the seven-day average for new cases to 468.6 and the 14-day average to 477.1.

One thousand thirteen people have died with COVID-19 in Maine since the pandemic began. Information about the people reported Saturday to have died wasn’t available from the Maine CDC.

The U.S. CDC’s booster shot endorsement this week covers only the Pfizer vaccine. Federal health officials haven’t yet weighed boosters for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines; nor have they considered whether it makes sense or not to give a Pfizer booster shot to people who received one of those other vaccines.

Health care providers around Maine were already scheduling booster appointments on Friday. To receive the third shot, six months must have passed since your second shot of Pfizer. You must be 65 or older, have a high-risk underlying condition, or work or live at an institution with high exposure risk for COVID-19 — health care facilities, homeless shelters, prisons.

For more information about appointments and eligibility, visit

By Saturday morning, Maine had given 868,047 people the final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Among people 12 and older, the population currently eligible for vaccination, 73.3% are now fully vaccinated.

Maine as of Friday had recorded 2,693 “breakthrough” cases, which occur when a fully vaccinated person contracts COVID-19. Unvaccinated people still are the vast majority of cases, and are also much more likely to have more serious cases if they do catch the disease. By comparison, there have been 50,658 total cases since COVID-19 vaccines became available to Mainers.

County by county as of Saturday, there had been 9,488 coronavirus cases in Androscoggin, 3,160 in Aroostook, 19,827 in Cumberland, 1,759 in Franklin, 2,106 in Hancock, 8,118 in Kennebec, 1,576 in Knox, 1,504 in Lincoln, 4,289 in Oxford, 9,980 in Penobscot, 1,033 in Piscataquis, 1,690 in Sagadahoc, 3,340 in Somerset, 2,008 in Waldo, 1,307 in Washington and 16,004 in York.

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