Legislative Republicans respond to DHHS’s recommendation to lift the COVID-19 vaccination requirement for health care workers

Republicans said early on that the requirement would worsen an already bad health care and EMS worker shortage 

 AUGUSTA – Legislative Republicans today issued the following statement regarding the announcement that the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and Department of Public Safety have filed a proposed rule change to lift the COVID-19 vaccination requirement for health care workers and emergency medical services (EMS) personnel:

 “We have known for close to two years that the governor’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement for health care and EMS workers only added to the severe shortage of those workers at a time when Maine citizens needed access to health care. Our members heard the cries of dedicated, caring health care and EMS workers who had to leave their professions because they chose not to receive COVID-19 vaccines after being hailed as heroes at the start of the pandemic. When the science changed and workers who tested positive for COVID-19 were then allowed to work as long as they were vaccinated, we renewed our calls for justice and common sense. The mandate continued long after it was scientifically clear the vaccines did not prevent the spread of COVID-19 or keep people from getting it.

 “We appreciate that Maine DHHS has recognized the mandate does not serve any public health interest and begun the rulemaking process to repeal it. We urge the administration to expedite the process well before the stated end of 2023. Republicans hope that some of our health care and EMS heroes who left the profession – and in some cases even the state – can return to serve Maine once again. We appreciate what they have endured and the sacrifices they have made, and we will continue our efforts to restore their rightful place in the workforce.” # # #

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