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As the deadline nears, Maine hospitals report progress in staff COVID-19 vaccinations


Across the country, health care workers are facing deadlines to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The deadline in Maine is technically October 1, but the Mills Administration won't enforce the mandate till the end of October. And hospitals in Maine are reporting progress in vaccinating staff.

Officials at MaineHealth say 93% of staff are fully vaccinated. Northern Light Health is reporting a similar rate, though that includes staff who have only received a first dose. Paul Bolin, senior vice president of Northern Light Health, says the rate among clinical staff is highest.

"Our nurses at this point are about 93% vaccinated, our physicians, about 97% vaccinated, and others in clinical roles have a very high level of vaccination. We expect those numbers to continue to increase closer to the 100 mark, which is of course the goal," Bolin says.

Out of Northern Light Health's nearly 13,000 employees, Bolin says 89 have quit over vaccine requirements for the flu or the COVID-19 shot.

The vaccination rate for staff of MaineGeneral Health is 90%, according to a spokesperson. At Central Maine Healthcare, it's more than 86%.

Health care workers still have time to get the Johnson and Johnson shot to meet the deadline for enforcement of the mandate, which is October 29.