Health Care Worker COVID-19 Vaccination Data Updated & Flexibility for New HiresOn October 13, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) published updated monthly data showing that COVID-19 vaccination rates rose rapidly in September among Maine health care workers.
Over the most recent reporting period, between September 1 through September 30, nursing home facility worker vaccination rates rose to 85.8% up from 77.2% in the prior month and assisted living facilities rose to 88% from 78.8% previously. Hospitals' vaccination rate rose to 91.6% from 84.6% previously.
DHHS has also signaled that the vaccine monthly reporting will end with October 2021 vaccination rates, which DHHS will use in compliance activity. This survey will then transition from a monthly report to an annual compliance report in December 2021.
In addition to using the 2021 health care worker vaccination rate survey as a basis for ongoing reporting, Maine DHHS and CDC intend to deploy effective compliance tools such as random audits and complaint-driven investigations to protect health care workers as well as patients.
In response to suggestions from stakeholders, and to help facilities during the transition to the new rule in November, Maine DHHS and CDC will use enforcement discretion during this time-limited period to allow health care facilities subject to the emergency rule to hire a new employee who has received at least a first dose of an authorized COVID-19 vaccine prior to the employee's start date. This is conditional on the employer ensuring that the employee uses appropriate personal protective equipment and is tested at least weekly until the employee is fully vaccinated (including an employee who received a Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccine prior to the start of employment). Any such employee who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine must receive the second dose on the FDA-authorized schedule.
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