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Mills' vaccine mandate for health care workers sparks protest in Portland

Protesters gathered in Portland's West End on Saturday to express disapproval of Maine's new COVID-19 vaccine mandate for healthcare workers


About 300 protesters gathered in Portland’s Western Prom on Saturday, August 14, to rally against Gov. Janet Mills' recent vaccine mandate for health care workers. 

The mandate would require health care workers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 1st 

"It’s been great to meet all these people and realize that we’re all pretty much in the same group, but it’s really sad to see that by October first we may have health care personnel shortages,” says Brendan, an EMT (NREMT/EMT-B) taking time off from work to show support at the rally.  

Organizations that fall under the requirements of the mandate must ensure all employees are vaccinated. If a medical facility doesn’t enforce this policy, and present proof of vaccination for its workers, it risks losing its state licenses. 

You can learn more about the mandate by clicking here. 

Members of the coalition “Mainers for Freedom” attended the rally and march. The group is made up of health care workers who oppose medical mandates. 

“We have one founding agreement-- our freedom of choice. We are not anti-anything. We support the right to vaccinate. We support the right to refuse. We support the right to choose. Period. The end.” says Emily, a coalition member who addressed the crowd. 

“Mainers for Freedom” has plans to hold another demonstration on Tuesday, August 17, at the State House in Augusta. 

You can learn more about “Mainers for Freedom” at their website. 

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