The Mills Administration today, Sept. 2, announced that it will begin enforcement of its COVID-19 vaccination requirement for health care workers on Oct. 29. This provides 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.
‘It is urgent that employees in health care settings get vaccinated as the Delta variant causes hospitals, nursing homes, and other organizations to lose staff and capacity due to isolation and quarantine and, in some cases, serious illness,’ said Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, and Nirav D. Shah, Director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. ‘The extra time allows those health care workers who prefer the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, which received its full approval on August 23, three weeks to get the first shot and still be fully vaccinated by October 29.’
Maine will be distributing $146 million in State and Federal funding to 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 primarily 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.