The University of Maine System will provide employees with two hours of paid administrative leave to use to receive a booster vaccination against COVID-19, the system announced Friday.
The decision comes two days after Governor Janet Mills announced that all Maine residents 18 years and older who are fully vaccinated are eligible for a free booster.
“There are still too many cases and the highly contagious Delta variant poses a particularly serious threat to the health of unvaccinated individuals,” Chancellor Dannel Malloy said in a press release.
“I got my booster shot and the flu shot at the same time and encourage everyone to do the same. Our university community will continue to lead by example that vaccination works and do everything we can to protect ourselves and each other from infection.”
The system also provided two hours of paid administrative time for teachers and staff to receive their first COVID-19 shots in the spring and has achieved a vaccination rate of more than 95 percent among its 30,000 students and staff.
Vaccination or a recognized exemption is required for all students. Employees must also be vaccinated or have a qualified exemption by January 4, as required by university and federal policies.
The system is in talks with all six employee bargaining units and plans to launch an outreach and support effort after the Thanksgiving holiday to ensure all faculty and employees meet federal requirements.
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