ELLSWORTH — The COVID-19 vaccination rate among licensed emergency medical service workers in Hancock County is 97.7 percent, according to data provided last week by the Maine Department of Public Safety. That’s a little higher than the state rate of 96.9 percent.
With 95 percent of Hancock County EMS personnel responding, just six individuals reported being unvaccinated among the 261 EMS workers who provide direct patient care. The information was gathered in a statewide survey conducted by Maine Emergency Medical Services (Maine EMS).
“Maine’s EMS personnel are some of the best in the world. They are professional, courteous, and will do everything in their power to provide the safest and most effective care possible,” said Sam Hurley, director of Maine EMS. “These strong vaccination rates further demonstrate this fact and underscore that Maine EMS personnel are committed to protecting the health and safety of those they are charged with caring for.”
In August, the Mills administration announced that it will require employees of designated health care settings in Maine, including emergency medical service organizations, to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
The Maine EMS Board of Directors, which independently governs Maine EMS services, voted to adopt the requirement, exempting dispatchers and providing additional time until Oct. 15 for other employees to receive vaccinations. The Department of Health and Human Services aligned its enforcement and definitions with that of the EMS Board.
The federal government has announced that it will require all health-care workers to be vaccinated, without a testing alternative.