Ken Gaecklein receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic organized by Mid Coast Hospital. Photo courtesy of Mid Coast Hospital

Sagadahoc County leads Maine in the percentage of residents who have received their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the most recent data from the state.

According to the state’s vaccine database, 16.56% of Sagadahoc County’s nearly 36,000 residents were fully vaccinated as of Wednesday, the highest percentage in the state. Neighboring Cumberland County followed closely behind, with 15.63% of its roughly 295,000 residents fully vaccinated.

Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention spokesman Robert Long said the state doesn’t know the precise reason Sagadahoc County has vaccinated a higher percentage of its population. However, he said the county’s smaller population and geography may be the root of its success.

“Geography is likely a contributing factor, as Sagadahoc County residents can drive short distances to vaccination clinics in Androscoggin, Cumberland, Kennebec and Lincoln counties,” said Long.

Lois Skillings, president of Mid Coast Hospital in Brunswick, which borders Sagadahoc, said she didn’t know exactly what caused the high vaccination numbers, but said the hospital’s vaccination clinic may play a role.

“Here in the Midcoast region, we were quick to get our large scale vaccination clinic up and running,” said Skillings. “Many other counties are catching up, and that’s a good thing. It’s everybody’s goal to get as many vaccines in arms as quickly as possible.”


Skillings said the hospital is focusing its efforts on its high-volume vaccine clinic at the Brunswick Landing. That clinic alone is administering 800 vaccines each day and plans to elevate to 1,000 vaccines per day next week if they receive enough supply.

“We still have the capability to get more vaccines out if we got more vaccines,” she said. “Supply is the limiting factor, and it has been all along. We’ve only had one week when we had the number (of vaccines) come in that we were capable of giving.”

Skillings said the Brunswick Landing clinic also has the equipment necessary to store the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Both vaccine types must be stored in freezers at -112ºF to -76ºF and -13°F to 5°F, respectively, according to the CDC.

“If we had to go out and do little clinics here and there, we’d be at this for much longer,” said Skillings.

Skillings said age alone likely isn’t a factor in the county’s high vaccination numbers because Maine as a whole has the highest median age in the country.

Nearly 23% of Sagadahoc County residents are 65 or older, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, making them eligible for the vaccine. While this is well over the U.S. average of 16.5%, it’s well shy of Lincoln County, where 28.2% of the population is 65 or older.


The state is taking an age-based approach to distribute vaccines, with oldest residents getting vaccinated first. Aside from health care workers and school staff, people ages 60 and older are eligible for the vaccine now. Maine expects to make vaccines available to residents 50 and older in April, followed by Mainers in their 40s in May, and Mainers in their 30s in June.

Peter DiPietrantonio, DO, receives a COVID-19 vaccine at Mid Coast Hospital’s vaccine clinic at Brunswick Landing. Photo courtesy of Mid Coast Hospital

People ages 70-79 account for the majority of Sagadahoc County’s fully vaccinated population. Of the 5,936 people who have received the second dose of the vaccine, 2,320 fell within the 70-79 age bracket.

Women make up about 61% of the county’s vaccinated population, falling in line with statewide trends.

Mid Coast Hospital has administered 23,082 doses of the vaccine as of March 10, according to hospital spokesperson Judy Kelsh.

Statewide, 12.67% of the population is fully vaccinated placing Maine as the 10th U.S. state with the highest vaccinated population, not counting U.S. territories, according to data from the CDC. Alaska has vaccinated 16% of it’s population, more than any other state as of March 10.

Although local vaccination efforts are making steady progress and COVID-19 cases are decreasing across the state, Skillings asked the public to keep taking precautions to reduce the risk of spreading of the disease.


“We cannot let our guard down,” she said. “We have to continue being safe in the community and wear our masks, keeping six feet of distance and avoiding large gatherings. We’re not through this yet.”

The hospital was treating two patients with COVID-19 as of March 4, said Kelsh. It has administered 1,189 COVID-19 tests so far this month, 10 of which were positive.

Within Sagadahoc County, 903 people have tested positive for COVID-19 since March 2020 and six have died as of March 4, according to the Maine CDC.

Statewide, 46,441 Mainers have tested positive for COVD-19 and 723 have died as of Thursday, the Maine CDC reported.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.