State Provides More Time for Health Care Workers to Meet Vaccination Requirements


The Mills Administration announced today that it will begin enforcement of its COVID-19 vaccination requirement for health care workers on October 29, 2021, providing an additional month for health care workers to complete their vaccination protocol and for health care organizations to use $146 million in forthcoming funds to address workforce needs.

The Mills Administration announced yesterday that it is distributing $146 million in State and Federal funding to Maine nursing facilities, certain residential care facilities, adult family care homes and hospitals to support workforce recruitment and retention efforts as they grapple with workforce shortages resulting from exposure to the COVID-19 virus and longstanding labor shortages.  The Maine Department of Health and Human Services will begin issuing the payments this month to support these facilities prior to the Administration beginning enforcement of the Rule.

“My goal is that every health care worker in Maine is vaccinated.  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).  “Allowing this additional time and providing $146. million in funding to recruit and retain vaccinated workers will help protect the lives of medical staff and patients, protect our health care capacity and reduce the spread of the virus.”

The state will continue to advance an emergency rule requiring vaccination of health care workers by October 1, 2021.  It will begin enforcement of that rule on October 2, 2021, rather than October 1, 2021, providing additional time for health care workers to become fully vaccinated and for health care organizations to use significant forthcoming financial support to maintain their capacity to care for patients and residents.  These efforts will protect health care personnel and MDaine people in health care facilities, safeguard Maine’s health care capacity and limit the spread of the virus.

COVID-19 vaccinations are free and wildly available throughout the state.  The Maine CDC has also procured 10,000 additional doses of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccines that it has prioritized for health care workers.

As of today, more than half the nearly 58% or 19 out of 35 of Maine’s open COVID-19 outbreaks are occurring in health care facilities, facing infected health care personnel to isolate or quarantine and driving staff shortages.  Vaccinations are the most effective tool to prevent staffing shortages caused by unvaccinated workers.

Maine continues to make nation-leading progress with its vaccination effort.  Govern Mills announced last month that 80% of eligible people in Maine have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, achieving another milestone for the state as it continues to confront an increase in cases associated with the Delta variant.  Eighth-three % of adults in Maine have received a COVID-19 vaccinations.  Maine is the fourth best state in the nation in the percentage of residents who are fully vaccinated.