As vaccine mandate enforcement approaches some workers still choose to wait

Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 4:33 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) -The state’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for healthcare workers is scheduled to be enforced one week from today.

There are still some workers who haven’t gotten a shot.

Robin Duncklee is a program director for an in-home support program in Augusta.

She works directly with five home health clients, which means she is subject to mandatory COVID-19 vaccination under state rules.

Duncklee says she’s the only employee in that program in Augusta, and it will close if she’s forced to leave.

She has refused to get the vaccine so far citing concerns about it’s effectiveness, safety and a person’s right to choose.

“To me there’s no reason to have a mandate. Because now I guess even if you get COVID you still need to, they want you to get the vaccine. Which doesn’t make sense to me. If you’ve already had it, why get the vaccine? To me right now I’d rather get COVID than get the vaccine.”

When pressed, she says she still is hoping the mandate will be overturned, but says she will consider getting the vaccine, if only so her clients can still receive care.

“I really would like the mandate stopped but if it really comes down to my clients not having staff then I will probably get it but I really don’t want to.”

Duncklee says she’s been discussing the issue with her employer, Maine Vocational and Rehabilitation Associates.

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