State Watch

Massachusetts AG says vaccines may be required for some public employee jobs

Vaccine shot being administered
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Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said in an interview with Boston Public Radio on Tuesday that unvaccinated public employees might not be eligible for some jobs.

“You may have a right to refuse a vaccine,” Healey said. “It may not, though, mean you have a right to a certain job if that job requires you to meet certain standards and qualifications.”

Healey has been calling for a requirement for public employees to get the coronavirus vaccine, but Republican Gov. Charlie Baker has been opposed to the idea.

“Look, you’re there, you’re getting paid by the taxpayer — you have an obligation, whether it’s delivering public health or public safety,” Healey said. “You’re interacting with the public. That’s a part of your job, by definition.”

Healey first called for the requirement back in March when hesitancy to be vaccinated among state police was high.

Debates surrounding requiring the coronavirus vaccine have emerged as all adults in the U.S. have become eligible for the vaccine.

Requiring the vaccine has not become popular among companies, but some higher education institutions are requiring their students to get the vaccine before the fall semester begins.

“I don’t think we should head down that road until we’ve actually had a process and a time here where there’s far more normalization to the whole idea of getting vaccinated,” Baker said.

Massachusetts has had more than 685,000 reported coronavirus cases and more than 17,000 deaths. 

The Hill has reached out to Healey for comment.

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