More than 95 percent of executive branch employees have responded to vaccine mandate

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – The backlash continues over Governor Baker’s vaccine mandate.

Members of the executive branch that have dedicated their lives to serving the Commonwealth say they could be forced out if they don’t get the COVID-19 vaccine. They are asking for another alternative so their livelihood isn’t taken away.

According to the State Trooper’s Association, a majority of members have received their COVID-19 vaccines. However, there are a handful of officers that don’t want to get the shots for medical or religious reasons.

Association President Mark Cherven told 22News that the Baker Administration has left departments with very few options and because staffing levels are already dangerously low, he worries about who will keep the Commonwealth safe.

“It’s just, not fair and we have highly skilled and trained troopers that we’re going to have to let go because of this mandate and we’re already critically understaffed,” said Cherven.

Governor Baker was asked about staffing concerns on Monday. He said he’s not too worried because a new class of troopers are set to graduate from the academy next week.

“And we’ll make sure that we do what we need to do to make sure that they continue to preform the duties that they’re expected to preform, I’m not concerned about that,” said Baker.

So far, more than 95 percent of executive branch employees have told the state whether or not they are vaccinated. Those that haven’t answered will be contacted by the state and if they don’t file for a medical or religious exemption, they could lose their jobs.

Now, the Baker administration said they have a ‘two tier’ system to vet exemption requests. However the process is very confusing. State troopers say they wouldn’t have to file an exemption request if they were given the option to wear a mask and get tested weekly instead.

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