Healey: Vaccines should be required for public employees

Coronavirus Local Impact
Associated Press Encore Casino employees pic

Workers depart a main gate to the Encore Boston Harbor casino, Wednesday, April 28, 2021, in Everett, Mass. The Encore Boston Harbor casino began offering COVID-19 vaccinations on Tuesday, April 27, by appointment only to employees and the general public in conjunction with Cambridge Health Alliance, a local health care organization. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, seen as a possible candidate for governor next year, is calling for mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for public employees, saying it is a matter of public safety.

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

People have a right to refuse a vaccine or seek a health or religious exemption, but Healey suggested those abstaining may effectively forfeit the right to public-sector employment. Responding to vaccine hesitancy among state police and corrections officers, Healey said in March that vaccines should be mandated for those employees.

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, who has yet to say whether he will seek a third term, has hesitated to mandate vaccines.

During her radio appearance Tuesday, Healey also urged the public to be wary of various vaccine-related scams, many of which are an attempt to steal personal information.

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