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CDC issues HAN regarding URGENT need to Increase Immunizations.

The U.S. CDC reports there is an urgent need to increase immunization coverage for Influenza, COVID-19, and RSV and Increase the use of authorized/approved therapeutics with the noted increased Respiratory Disease activity. 
Maine CDC shares that as of December 9, 2023 the information for Maine is:
  • 49.2% of adults age 18 years old and older, have received the current influenza vaccine.
  • 28.8% of adults age 18 years old and older, have received the current COVID-19 vaccine.
  • 18.0% of adults 60 years and older have received RSV vaccine.
 
Respiratory disease vaccine rates are tracked and published throughout the season on U.S. CDC's VaxView. Vaccination remains the best way to protect against the worst impacts from COVID-19, influenza, and RSV. Access to early testing and outpatient treatment are both crucial to reducing severe COVID-19 and influenza.
 
The two COVID-19 oral antivirals, Paxlovid and Lagevrio, are now commercially available, and there are new programs available to provide medication to patients who are uninsured, underinsured, or on public insurance. Providers should offer outpatient treatment to all who are eligible, become familiar with how patients access and pay for outpatient treatment, and continue to educate patients about the importance of timely treatment. For information, see COVID-19: Healthcare Providers (providers) or COVID-19 Treatment in Maine (patients).
 
Maine continues to face a shortage of nirsevimab. Maine CDC has taken steps to allocate nirsevimab 100mg doses to birthing hospitals. For infants ≥5 kg, continue to prioritize use of 100mg nirsevimab doses for infants at highest risk of severe disease, starting with young infants aged <6 months.
 
View the Maine Health Alert Network Public Health Advisory here.
 
 Staff contact: mcarland@mehca.org