Maine Medicine Weekly Update - 11/25/2020  (Plain Text Version)

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In this issue:
•  Temperatures Drop & Independent Practices Again Left Out In The Cold
•  Happy Thanksgiving from the MMA!
•  MMA & Maine COVID-19 Vaccine Planning
•  Maine CDC Rule Mandating Flu Vaccine for Health Care Workers
•  Climate Action Briefing for Maine Physicians
•  Feds to Allocate COVID-19 Vaccines Based On Population Not Risk
•  COVID ‘Long Haulers’ & Potential COVID Vaccine Side Effects
•  Interoperability and Patient Access Learning Event — December 9
•  CMS Issues Final Revised Rules for Stark Law
•  JAMA: Resident Physician Experiences With and Responses to Biased Patients
•  Volunteers Needed for the Medical Professionals Health Program
•  A Message from Maine Responds - Volunteer Opportunity
•  Maine Medical Association Enduring Education Opportunity
•  MICIS: Opioid Prescribing Presentation & Individual Academic Detailing Sessions
•  Baystate Financial – Fiscal Fitness for Life
MAINE LEGISLATURE
•  ELECTION UPDATE: State Legislature
UPCOMING EVENTS
•  Upcoming Specialty Society Meetings
•  MOA VIRTUAL Midwinter Symposium - Feb 12-14, 2021
•  Maine CDC Annual Prevention Professionals Conference - March 2-3, 2021
HEALTHCARE EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
•  Nursing Director
•  Family Medicine Physician at Greater Portland Health
•  Behavioral Health Clinician

 

Maine CDC Rule Mandating Flu Vaccine for Health Care Workers

The Maine CDC recently proposed amendments that would eliminate the 2009 H1N1 vaccine from the current list of state-mandated vaccines for health care workers and would add seasonal flu shots to the list.

 

The Maine CDC recently proposed amendments that would eliminate the 2009 H1N1 vaccine from the current list of state-mandated vaccines for health care workers and would add seasonal flu shots to the list. The proposed amendments also include the following language related to the COVID-19 vaccine: “ 7. In the event of a public health emergency or extreme public health emergency declared by the governor, the Department may impose control measures, including, but not limited to, mass vaccinations and exclusions from the workplace, and may require immunization or documented immunity to protect public health and minimize the impact from the specific communicable disease.” 

There was quite a bit of media coverage Portland Press Herald article / Maine Public (audio and text) / & NewsCenter Maine (video) covering the hearing, in which MMA comments are included. Director of Communications and Government Affairs, Dan Morin presented short verbal comments in support of the flu mandate but expressed reservations about the emergency mass vaccinations amendment considering the rapid development and approval process of potential COVID vaccines while indicating we will be providing formal written comments before to the December 3 comment deadline. After further research, there apparently can be no vaccine mandate (federal prohibition) for a vaccine under only an EUA, which the current potential vaccines are seeking with the FDA. 

Despite the number of nurses expressing opposition at the hearing, including the Maine State Nurses Association president, the updated American Nurses Association statement from this summer supports mandatory flu vaccines with exemptions ONLY for medical contraindications. Unfortunately, a number of physicians spoke out against the rule, with one specifically making reference to a claim that the flu vaccine “causes 7x more miscarriages for pregnant women.” 

We will be accepting your input on the proposed amendments as we draft our written comments due December 3. Please reach out directly to Dan Morin at dmorin@mainemed.com with any comments or suggestions.