MHCA Comments on Chapter 264 - Immunization Requirements for Health Care Workers

On Monday, September 27th the Maine Health Care Association provided verbal testimony on the proposed rule changes to 10-144 CMR Chapter 264: Immunization Requirements for Health Care Workers. The public hearing lasted approximately 90 minutes with 20 individuals testifying. The Maine Medical Association, Northern Light, and MaineMed were among those who offered comments. 
MHCA is also submitting written comments. We collected feedback from providers over the past several weeks. Our comments included a number of questions seeking clarity around presumptive immunity for varicella, rubeola, mumps and rubella. In light of the staffing crisis, MHCA testimony also included a request for a COVID-19 vaccination mandate grace period for newly hired health care workers and consideration of a daily testing alternative for staff that are unvaccinated to continue to educate and address vaccine hesitancy. We also asked that short term contract workers that do not have direct patient contact be exempted from the mandate. Lastly, we have requested that state consider aligning its vaccination mandate with the anticipated federal mandate to ensure consistency across the healthcare continuum. 
Written comments on the proposed rule are due today, October 7th by 5:00 PM. Providers are encouraged to submit comments directly as well.