Updated at 2:28 p.m. with quote from Senate President Karen Spilka.
BOSTON – Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced today, August 19, that more than 40,000 state employees will need to prove they are vaccinated or they could be terminated.
The deadline to prove their COVID-19 vaccination is October 17.
This will apply to all in-person and teleworking employees, said the Baker-Polito administration
There are exceptions for medical reasons, under the executive order signed by Gov. Baker.
“I applaud Governor Baker for issuing a strong vaccination mandate for Massachusetts Executive Department employees. It underscores the message that vaccination is our best tool for ending the disruption and suffering caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Massachusetts Senate President Karen Spilka.
“The Senate working group a vaccine mandate and other policies guided by public health best practices and designed to keep Senate employees safe. I expect this group to issue its recommendations very soon,” said Sen. Spilka, a Democrat from Ashland, who represents MetroWest, including Framingham.
All Executive Department employees will be required to provide proof that they have received either the required two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer or the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine by October 17.
In the coming weeks, employees will receive information about the process by which they may provide this verification to the Commonwealth.
This process will be made available well in advance of October 17.
All documentation related to an employee’s COVID-19 vaccinations will be maintained confidentially. The policy applies to both employees working in-person and those who are teleworking.
The City of Boston’s Mayor Kim Janney also is requiring that city’s 18,000 city workers to prove they’ve been vaccinated or submit to weekly testing.
As new CDC guidance regarding booster vaccine doses is issued in the future, Executive Branch employees will also be required to provide proof they have received those doses by a deadline to be established. Employees for whom vaccination is medically contraindicated or who object to vaccination on the grounds of sincerely-held religious reasons may be entitled to an exemption from the requirement to demonstrate vaccination. The Administration will provide further guidance in the coming weeks for employees who may wish to seek such an exemption.
Executive Department employees who are not vaccinated or approved for an exemption as of October 17, 2021 will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
The Administration will continue to work with its union partners regarding this policy, and specific ramifications of non-compliance for staff represented by unions will be discussed well in advance of October 17 with each employee union.
Management employees not in compliance as of October 17, 2021 will also be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.
Click here to read the Executive Order.
Vaccines are widely available in Massachusetts, with over 900 locations available at the Commonwealth’s VaxFinder website, including locations with walk-up appointments. Massachusetts remains a national leader in vaccinating its residents, with over 85% of adults having received at least one dose. This has supported significant progress in protecting the Commonwealth’s residents: Massachusetts has one of the lowest COVID-19 hospitalization rates in the country.