HCN News & Notes

Governor Announces COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement for Executive Employees

BOSTON — Gov. Charlie Baker issued an executive order requiring all state executive-branch employees to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination on or before Oct. 17, emphasizing that the vaccine is the best and most effective way people can protect themselves, their loved ones, and their community from the virus.

All Executive Department employees will be required to provide proof they have received either the required two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer or the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine by Oct. 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 Oct. 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.

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-branch employees who are not vaccinated or approved for an exemption as of Oct. 17 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 Oct. 17 with each employee union.