Bobbie-Jean Brown, a preschool teacher, receives a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor in April, 2021. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine provided a clearer picture of COVID-19 vaccination rates among teachers and staff Wednesday as schools reported more complete numbers with class back in session.

Just under 80 percent of teachers and staff were fully vaccinated as of the end of September, according to data released by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. That is up from 75 percent at the end of August. Reported vaccination rates among operations staff, such as bus drivers and office staff serving multiple schools, increased from 68 percent to 75 percent.

But it is not clear whether that reflects a real increase in vaccination rates in Maine or better reporting by schools and districts. After several schools in Regional School Unit 3 in Waldo County reported among Maine’s lowest vaccination rates last month, the superintendent said many teachers simply had not reported their status and were counted as unvaccinated.

Those same schools reported relatively high rates this month, with 91 percent of teachers and staff at Mt. View Elementary School in Thorndike now saying they are vaccinated and 83 percent at Mt. View High School.

Another 29 schools reported 100 percent vaccination rates, including Cheverus High School in Portland, the middle schools in Cape Elizabeth and Brunswick and Troy Central School in Waldo County. The lowest rates were reported in more rural areas.