State House News – Massachusetts “should not necessarily head down” the road of requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for state troopers and other public workers at this point, Gov. Charlie Baker said, voicing an interest in first seeing more “normalization to the whole idea of getting vaccinated.”
Asked during a radio interview if he believes the shots should be required for State Police and correctional officers, Baker brought up issues of vaccine hesitancy.
“I think the important thing is to recognize and understand that not everybody is jumping to the front of the line, and some people have some very good reasons for doing that,” Baker said on GBH radio.
“There are a lot of folks in the health-care space who you would think, given everything that went on with COVID in the health-care community, would have jumped to the front of the line, too, and many of them did but many of them didn’t, for all kinds of reasons, and I don’t think you should put somebody in a position where they have to choose between a vaccine that they may be very concerned about taking for some very good reasons, and their job, at least not at this point in the process.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized three vaccines – from Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson – for emergency use. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes the vaccines as safe and effective, as has state Public Health Commissioner Dr. Monica Bharel, who said all three prevent severe illness, hospitalization and death.
Baker said that polling data indicates that people who are hesitant, in many cases, do plan to receive a vaccine at some point but “just don’t want to go first” and would like to hear from their own doctor, a trusted community member, or a relative who got the shot.