Editor’s Note: The few anti-vax diehards in Maine are counting down on the clock. The state has one of the highest vaccine rates. The University of Maine is at 97% and working to get the 1000 or so remaining students onboard.
If they are successful, they will be in good shape to defend the state from a winter resurgence, which sets a good precedent for everyone there as to how to deal with the next pandemic, i.e., quickly and without all the energy wasted on those that think public health measures are optional.
The state’s medical people are also on board, so that medical establishment workers can be less fearful that they have ‘spreaders’ in their ranks, not only to protect the staff but the patients.
I can’t imagine the anger a non-Covid patient would have after being hospitalized and then infected by a staff member there who is in ‘I gotta be me’ mode.
After all, hospitals are filled with all kinds of rules and regulations, something that I had assumed was written into everyone’s employment contracts. And just in case it isn’t, it should be, so both sides don’t have to deal with all of this bickering with an exhausted medical crew, and after so many had died on the front lines.
The anti-vaxers attitude of ‘yes I want to make the good money and all the benefits here, but I want to choose what public health measure that I approve of’; ALL such people should be screened out during the hiring process, with full loss of benefits if they renege on the contract. That is my ‘mean Jim’ commentary for today… Jim W. Dean
First published October 20, 2021, on Politico
PORTLAND, Maine — The U.S. Supreme Court declined Tuesday to block a vaccine requirement imposed on Maine health care workers, the latest defeat for opponents of vaccine mandates.
It was the first time the Supreme Court weighed in on a statewide vaccine mandate. It previously rejected challenges of vaccine requirements for New York City teachers and Indiana University staff and students.
Justice Stephen Breyer rejected the emergency appeal but left the door open to try again as the clock ticks on Maine’s mandate. The state will begin enforcing it Oct. 29.
The Maine vaccine requirement that was put in place by Democratic Gov. Janet Mills requires hospital and nursing home workers to get vaccinated or risk losing their jobs.
Opponents tried to block the mandate, but a federal judge rejected the request Oct. 13.
The judge said the record indicated regular testing alone wasn’t sufficient to stop the spread of the delta variant.
That decision set off a flurry of emergency appeals to the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and then the U.S. Supreme Court.
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The governor’s mandate for health care workers to be vaccinated went into effect on Friday, but it won’t be enforced right away.
The state has said it will not start enforcing the rule until Oct. 29 to give more time to workers to get their shots and to help health providers fill potential staffing gaps.
MaineHealth, the state’s largest health care provider, said 93% of its 23,000 staff members were vaccinated and that 69 had quit.
Northern Light Health said nearly all of its doctors and nurses have gotten vaccinated against COVID-19, but that 89 staffers left because they would not get vaccinated.
Central Maine Healthcare said that 86% of their staff is vaccinated. They also said 40 staff members have already resigned and 30 more have submitted their resignations.
In other pandemic-related news:
More than 1,000 University of Maine System students must come into compliance with the system’s vaccination and testing requirements this month or they will be withdrawn from courses without a refund.
The system is reaching the end of its campaign to bring students into compliance with the rules. Students have until Oct. 15 to verify their vaccinated status or receive an exemption that requires weekly testing, the system said Thursday.
More than 23,000 members of the university community have uploaded their vaccination status into a university portal, and the vaccination rate among residential students who live on campus is 97%, it said.
However, 1,098 students have yet to upload information, the system said. Several hundred other students have also verified the first shot of the coronavirus vaccine but need to upload a record showing they are fully vaccinated now, it said.
Chancellor Dannel Malloy said the system needs to “help all of our students meet the science-based requirements we have established to protect our community from COVID-19.”