© 2021 Maine Public
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Northern Light Health Will Require Employees To Be Vaccinated Against COVID-19 After FDA Grants Full Approval

Northern Light Acadia Hospital.JPG
Northern Light Acadia Hospital
Northern Light Acadia Hospital

Northern Light Health will require all employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 vaccine after the FDA grants full approval to one or more vaccines. As Patty Wight reports, it's the second health care system in Maine to announce vaccinations will be a condition of employment.

Northern Light staff will have six weeks to get vaccinated once FDA approval is granted, with few exceptions. The health care system employs more than 12,000 people across 10 hospitals, eight nursing homes, and more than three dozen primary care offices.

In a written announcement, Northern Light officials say they did not make the decision lightly to require COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of employment. But President and CEO Tim Dentry says, "Getting vaccinated is the single most important and responsible step each of us can take."

Last week, Millinocket Regional Hospital announced it would require all staff to get the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine once they're approved by the FDA.

The highly contagious Delta variant is creating a sense of urgency to boost vaccination numbers. The Maine Hospital Association is advocating for a statewide requirement.