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Northern Light Health Will Require Covid Vaccination As A Condition of Employment

Published: Aug. 4, 2021 at 10:29 AM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -

Paul Bolin, the Senior VP / Chief HR Officer, Northern Light Health says “We put a lot of thought in this decision, and we are sure it is the right decision for our patients, our staff, and our communities”

Northern Light Health, the state’s second largest healthcare system, will require that all of their staff members receive a covid-19 vaccine, once one of the vaccines has received full FDA approval. The move would not be a mandate, but would instead amend their current conditions of employment, which already include requirements of other vaccines such as Hepatitis B, to include a COVID vaccine.

Greg LaFrancois , the President of AR gould Hospital adds “In order to protect the whole, individuals have to sacrifice”

Employees of Northern Light Health will have a 6 week grace period from the date of the FDA approval to either have their first dose of vaccine, or get their religious or medical exemptions approved. Currently, 80% of Northern Light’s staff are already fully vaccinated.

Bolin says “This decision is one that didn’t happen in an isolated time, certainly, we know that as the FDA reviews the pfiser vaccine, likely first on their agenda, and considers removing the emergency use authorization. That’s the time we have identified our employees need to be vaccinated with one of the three vaccines.”

Religious and Medical exemptions will be given on a case-by-case basis, and if approved, the exempt employee will be required to get tested twice a week until the CDC declares the pandemic is over.

Bolin says “With regards to employees who refuse to be vaccinated who choose not to be vaccinated and not approved with an exemption, they will be removed from the schedule and not permitted to work”

LaFrancois adds “The reason we’re not running around with polio shots on our arms any longer is because somebody stepped up years ago and said we’re gonna eradicate this…Vaccinations Matter, Vaccinations are important, Vaccinations have to happen, That’s how we’re gonna get back to life.”

Bolin expects that the FDA will be announcing a decision to grant full authorization to a COVID-19 vaccine sometime around 6 to 8 weeks from now.

Corey Bouchard, Newssource 8

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