September 22, 2021
The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) today published updated monthly data showing that COVID-19 vaccination continues to increase among Maine health care workers, further protecting the health and lives of Maine people and safeguarding Maine’s health care capacity.
Over the most recent reporting period, between July 31 and August 31, rates among hospital staff increased the most, rising 4.3 percentage points to nearly 85 percent of staff fully vaccinated. Nursing facility staff vaccination was a close second, rising 4.2 percentage points to 77.2 percent fully vaccinated.
Staff at ambulatory surgical centers continue to have the highest vaccination rate at 87.1 percent. At assisted housing facilities, 77.8 percent of staff are fully vaccinated, while 70.8 percent of staff at intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities are fully vaccinated.
The dashboard shows that 7 hospitals and 15 nursing facilities had over 90 percent of their staff vaccinated as of August 31, 2021. Yesterday, Millinocket Regional Hospital reported that it achieved full vaccination of its staff, ahead of the deadline, without the loss of staff.
DHHS began posting health care worker vaccination rates on June 22. The latest reporting period shows that vaccination rates continue to rise following the Mills Administration’s announcement on August 12 that workers in licensed health care facilities will be required to get vaccinated. Enforcement of the vaccination requirement for health care workers begins after October 29, 2021.
Following the announcement of Maine’s requirement and in response to the continued spread of COVID-19 in health care settings, earlier this month the Biden-Harris Administration announced that it will require COVID-19 vaccination of staff within all Medicare and Medicaid-certified facilities to protect both staff and patients. Emergency regulations previously announced by the federal government requiring vaccinations for nursing home workers will be expanded to include hospitals, dialysis facilities, ambulatory surgical settings, and home health agencies, among others, as a condition of participating in the Medicare and Medicaid programs.
The federal government requires reporting of staff vaccination rates for nursing facilities, and Maine is additionally requiring hospitals and some other health care facilities to collect and report this information. DHHS will continue to publicly post health care staff vaccination rates by facility each month to encourage ongoing vaccination of health care staff and to inform the public about the risk of COVID-19 transmission in these settings, which serve Maine people at high risk of serious illness or death from the virus.
Health care workers were among the 41,918 Maine residents who were vaccinated between September 1 and September 21, continuing Maine’s nation-leading COVID-19 vaccination progress.
The COVID-19 vaccine continues to be widely available in Maine, at no cost and often with no appointment necessary. For a list of vaccination sites, visit the State’s vaccine website or call the Community Vaccination Line at 1-888-445-4111.