ORONO — The University of Maine System is looking to get as many of its employees vaccinated against COVID-19 as quickly as possible.
“We want to do everything in our power to make vaccines a part of how we are all preparing for our spring, summer and fall,” UMS Chancellor Dannel Malloy said. “The sooner I think that people can get vaccinated, the stronger their health is likely to remain.”
Under the state’s age-based rollout, Malloy said about 72 percent of faculty and staff members will be eligible for the vaccine by May.
“We will be launching a vaccine education campaign to help people understand and to answer common questions, doing that in partnership with Maine CDC and also CDC,” said Joan Ferrini-Mundy, president of the system’s Orono and Machias campuses.
According to Malloy, the University of Maine System is not currently making the vaccine a requirement since it is authorized for emergency use, but there is a perk for employees who do get theirs.
“We are making two hours of paid time available to our faculty and staff to get vaccinated,” Malloy said.
Ferrini-Mundy said they are working to ensure everyone has all the information they need and knows how to schedule appointments.
“The presidents and the chancellor in the system all are providing lots of links and reminders about how that gets done so that people feel clearly that we’re supportive of this,” Ferrini-Mundy said.
Malloy said he has two main goals for the entire university community moving forward.
“Long term being let’s get back to normalcy. Short term is let’s do everything we can to stay safe,” Malloy said