Mills Applauds Appeals Court Decision on Health Care Vaccination Requirement


Governor Janet Mills (D) at a Recent Press Conference on the new Insurance Marketplace That Wet Into Effect Last Week.

She used to think that all health care workers should be vaccinated. That’s what an  RN who works at an area nursing home told this blogger recently.  At the beginning of the pandemic older staff members left the facility.  They did not want to risk the exposure to COVID-19 she said.

Faced with the likelihood of loosing more staff members with the vaccination mandate in place at this facility, this RN has changed her mind.  She estimated that between five to ten additional staff might leave because of the vaccination mandate for health care workers. She’s now opposed to the vaccination mandate for health care workers she said while we were chatting at the East End Beach parking lot where she was walking her dog. Fortunately, Maine courts don’t agree with her. Neither does Governor Janet T. Mills, (D) either, fortunately.

“Few interests are more compelling than protecting public health against a deadly virus.  In promulgating the rule at issue here, Maine has acted in response to this virus to protect its health care system by meeting its three goals of preventing the over-whelming of is health care system, protecting those most vulnerable to the virus and to an overwhelmed health care system and protecting the health of all Maine residents.  In focusing the vaccination requirement on health care of its population, particularly those who are most likely to suffer severe consequences if they contract COVID-19 or are denied other needed medical treatment by an overwhelmed health care system.”

“Maine’s interest in safeguarding its residents is paramount.  While we do not diminish the appellants’ liberty of conscience, we cannot find, absent any constitutional or statutory violation, any error in the district court’s conclusion that the rule promotes strong public interests and that are injunction would not serve the public interest,” wrote the Appeals Court justices in its lengthy decision released on October 19, 2021 in the case of Doe. vs. Mills, et al.

“Vaccinations are the best tool we have to protect the lives and livelihoods of Maine people and to defeat this pandemic.  Health care workers perform a critical role in protecting the health of Maine people and it is imperative that hospitals and other settings take every precaution to protect workers and their patients against this dangerous virus, especially in view of this highly transmissible Delta variant.  Anyone who is placed in the care of a health care worker has the right to expect as do their families that they will receive high-quality, safe care from fully vaccinated staff,” said Governor Janet T. Mills (D) in a press release issued by her office today.

Maine’s  health care workforce vaccination mandate is supported by all of Maine’s major health care nonprofits.  Furthermore, the Biden administration intends to require all health care workers to be vaccinated, with no alternative for testing.

Over the most recent reporting period between September 1 through September 30, vaccination rates climbed above 90% for hospitals (91.6%) and ambulatory surgery centers (92s%).  The September vaccination rates increased by more than 10% points in assisted housing facilities (88.1%) and intermediate care facilities (83.2%).  Vaccination rates also rose significantly in nursing homes (85.8%).