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Local health officials support Millinocket hospital vaccine mandate

They expect other area hospitals to require mandates after vaccines get FDA approval.
They expect other hospitals to follow suit after full FDA approval.
They expect other hospitals to follow suit after full FDA approval.(WABI)
Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 5:38 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - Area medical officials are supporting Millinocket Regional Hospital’s recent announcement that all staff members will eventually need to be vaccinated.

We spoke with executives from the Maine Hospital Association and the Maine State Nurse’s Association, who said that they expect other local hospitals to mandate vaccines once they get full FDA approval.

Experts compared requiring a COVID vaccine to a hospital’s right to mandate flu shots, and say that it is the best course of action to protect patients and staff.

“It’s not done lightly,” said Steven Michaud, President of the Maine Hospital Association. “There’s an impact on your workforce, people may leave. But our view is that the health of our patients is just a higher priority, and so given that, we just think this is a direction that we’re going to have to go.”

“With the fact that the vaccine will be completely FDA approved, it’s important that we completely do it correctly, and maybe, hopefully, we come out on the other side,” said Cokie Giles, President of the Maine State Nurses Association.

The timeline for full FDA approval is still uncertain, but Michaud suggested it could come by the fall.

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