Few of Maine health systems' workers quitting over vaccine mandate

Two Maine health systems have seen a few of their employees quit because of the state's COVID-19 vaccination mandate. 

On Aug. 12, Maine Gov. Janet Mills announced that healthcare workers in the state must be fully vaccinated by Oct. 1. The mandate also requires vaccination for those employed by emergency medical service organizations or dental practices.

Since the mandate was announced, 66 employees have left Brewer-based Northern Light Health because of the vaccine requirement, according to system spokesperson Karen Cashman. That's out of about 12,500 employees across the system.

As of Sept. 23, 92.2 percent of Northern Light's employees were vaccinated.

"We continue to focus on education and responding to individual questions about vaccine or vaccine hesitancy," Ms. Cashman told Becker's.

MaineHealth, a nine-hospital system based in Portland, has also seen some departures. 

Over recent weeks, 58 of MaineHealth's 23,000 staff members have resigned and cited the vaccination requirement as among the reasons for their decision, system spokesperson Caroline Cornish told Becker's. That represents only 0.0025 percent of the system's workforce.

The Maine health systems are among others in the U.S. that have seen workers leave because of vaccination mandates. 

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