Hundreds protest vaccine mandate in Bangor Sunday afternoon

The mandate states that by October 1st, Maine will require all health care workers to be fully vaccinated.
Published: Aug. 15, 2021 at 3:36 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - Hundreds lined the sidewalks outside Broadway Park this afternoon in Bangor to peacefully protest the new vaccine mandate for Maine’s healthcare workers.

”To be mandated to do something, or lose my job is just not ok, and we need to take a stand,” said Jackie Foraker, who organized Sunday’s protest.

Healthcare workers, their friends, and family members gathered in solidarity Sunday afternoon to voice their opposition to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate announced by Governor Mills last week.

The mandate states that by October 1st, Maine will require all health care workers to be fully vaccinated.

Governor Mills statement on the mandate said in part, “If you or your loved one is required to access care, you and your family have a right to expect that everybody who cares for you in that institution, in that facility is fully vaccinated.”

“I’m hoping we can do everything we can to overturn that. That’s not how this works,” added Foraker.

Jackie Foraker and her mom Kim Files are both nurse practitioners who organized Sunday’s Stand up for Medical Freedom event after Mills made the announcement.

“We worked through the pandemic, we wore our PPE, we did everything that we should do, which we do daily anyway, so now you’re saying I can no longer do that safely, and you’re no longer welcome to do that for you, and that’s going to be catastrophic,” said Kim Files.

Some healthcare workers feel differently, including the Maine Nurse Practitioner Association.

“I think that it’s a necessary step, these mandates are necessary,” said Constance Jordan.

Constance Jordan, the President of the Association told TV5 she believes Governor Mills enacted the mandate as a precaution, citing the rise in COVID cases seen in other states.

“The results of covid cases in their states, I think that Governor Mills is maintaining her strong stance and taking care of the people of Maine,” added Jordan.

A majority of healthcare workers I spoke to off-camera told me they are prepared to leave their jobs if the mandate is not overturned.

“We want to go to be able to go to work and take care of people that’s what we went to school for, I don’t want to be told that I can’t,” said Foraker.

This same group is planning protests in Belfast tomorrow and Augusta on Tuesday.

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