Maine governor gives health workers more time to get vaccinated
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine Gov. Janet Mills announced Thursday that she’s giving healthcare workers more time to get mandated COVID-19 vaccinations, and providing $146 million to help healthcare organizations recruit more employees.
The state will retain the original Oct. 1 deadline but won’t enforce the mask mandate for healthcare workers until Oct. 29, the governor said.
The $146 million will help long-term healthcare organizations like nursing homes recruit and retain vaccinated workers, she said.
“My goal is that every healthcare worker in Maine is vaccinated. Anyone who is placed in the care of a healthcare worker has the right to expect – as do their families – that they will receive high-quality, safe care from fully vaccinated staff,” the governor said in a statement.
The new timeline allows workers to get both doses of Pfizer vaccine, which is now approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
The state also procured 10,000 additional doses of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine that it has prioritized for healthcare workers.