AUGUSTA, Maine (WMTW) – Gov. Janet Mills’ office says she believes Mainers have the right to expect their health care workers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
The governor’s office released a statement in response to a demonstration in Portland’s West End Saturday where at least 200 people rallied against her mandate requiring all health care workers be vaccinated by Oct. 1.
Demonstrators also protested the requirement Sunday in Bangor.
The statement from the governor’s office states that Maine has long required vaccination for health care workers for a number of diseases and the new requirement “simply adds the COVID-19 vaccine and is supported by a broad coalition of health care providers across Maine,” stated Lindsay Crete, spokesperson for Gov. Mills.
“Further, the governor believes that every person in Maine who is placed in the care of a health care facility has the right to expect – as do their families – that they will receive high-quality and safe care, which includes having their care providers be fully vaccinated in order to protect them against this deadly virus as much as possible,” Crete added.
“To be mandated to do something, or lose my job is just not OK, and we need to take a stand,” said Jackie Foraker, who organized Sunday’s protest in Bangor.
Foraker and her mom Kim Files are both nurse practitioners who organized Sunday’s Stand up for Medical Freedom event after Mills made the announcement.
“We worked through the pandemic, we wore our PPE, we did everything that we should do, which we do daily anyway, so now you’re saying I can no longer do that safely, and you’re no longer welcome to do that for you, and that’s going to be catastrophic,” said Files.
The group Maine Stands Up is organizing another protest against the mandate outside the State House in Augusta at 11 a.m. on Monday.
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