UMaine system offering paid time off for COVID-19 vaccination reminders

The University of Maine system will offer two hours of paid administrative leave to employees to use to get a COVID-19 vaccination booster, the system said Friday.

The move comes two days after Gov. Janet Mills announced that all Maine residents 18 and older who have been fully vaccinated are eligible for a free booster.

“There are still too many cases and the highly contagious Delta variant has been a particularly serious threat to the health of unvaccinated people,” Chancellor Dannel Malloy said in a press release.

“I got my booster shot and my flu shot at the same time and I encourage everyone to do the same. Our university community will continue to lead by example that immunization works and do all we can to protect us and each other from infection. “

The system also offered two hours of paid administrative time for faculty and staff to get their first COVID-19 vaccines in the spring, and achieved an immunization rate of over 95% among its 30,000 students and employees.

Vaccination or a recognized exemption is compulsory for all students. Employees must also be vaccinated or have a qualified exemption, as required by university and federal policy by January 4.

The system is currently in discussion with its six employee bargaining units and plans to launch a post-Thanksgiving outreach and support effort to ensure all faculty and staff are in compliance with federal requirements.

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