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Nearly 98% of health care workers in Maine are fully vaccinated against COVID-19

Virus Outbreak Maine
Robert F. Bukaty
A pharmacy technician loads a syringe with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, Tuesday, March 2, 2021, at a mass vaccination site at the Portland Expo in Portland, Maine.

Nearly 98% of health care workers across Maine were fully vaccinated against COVID-19 when the state began enforcing its mandate on the industry at the end of October.

Vaccination rates vary by the type of health care facility. Hospitals reported that over 98% of staff were fully vaccinated but that figure drops to 93% for ambulatory care and surgical centers. The administration of Gov. Janet Mills announced in August that all health care workers would have to be fully vaccinated against the viral disease by Oct. 1 but later delayed enforcement of the requirement until Oct. 29.

Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew says that the number of unvaccinated health care workers declined by 92% between May and October.

“The fact that nearly 100% of health care facility staff are vaccinated demonstrated that the policies that Maine has adopted have worked,” Lambrew said during Wednesday’s COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The vaccine mandate was opposed by some workers who said they would quit or be fired rather than comply with the requirement.