Maine has failed, since day one, to have a strategy, to protect the most at risk among us.

Capt. Nate Contreras administers the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Mathew Thornton, a firefighter and EMT, at Scarborough Public Safety on Dec. 28. A reader questions who is considered an “essential worker” by the Maine CDC and, thus, in greater need of vaccination. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

Delays in the ramp-up of testing, delays in testing congregate care workers (are they testing PCR daily as of today?) and the lack of an aggressive surveillance testing plan of front-line workers are all driven by the failure of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention to ramp testing capacity early. A decision that caused Maine to be months behind other states to attain 5,000-a-day testing. Sorry to say, but I told you so (Letter to the editor, May 17, 2020).

Now, we have a “data free” approach to vaccine prioritization.

Ninety-six percent of deaths in Maine are those of people over 60 years old. No “super-spreader” events have been tied to non-first responder essential workers. Maine should immediately adopt the front-line prioritization of first responders for vaccination, then by age and co-morbidities as the only criteria. Any other approach is simply an attempt at social engineering and, I propose, not supported by data.

Someone at the Press Herald should ask Dr. Nirav Shah, Maine CDC director, for the data he is using to support “essential worker” priority. Also ask why he does not publish the following data table: COVID-19, by age group, showing No. 1 – tests; No. 2 – positives; No. 3 – hospitalizations, No. 4 – ICU cases and No. 5 – deaths. Then, explain how the Maine CDC justifies vaccine prioritization and shutdowns.

Where is the press?

Gary Vincent

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