State health council approves expanded vaccine requirement | News


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(photo courtesy MGN-Online) 

BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts Public Health Council on Wednesday approved a plan to require coronavirus vaccination for all employees at rest homes, assisted living residences and hospice programs, along with workers who provide in-home direct care services.

The council unanimously approved the plan at a public meeting, with members saying it’s an important step to protect vulnerable age groups.

The plan expands on a previous order from Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration requiring vaccination for workers at skilled nursing facilities.

The expanded vaccine requirement was announced Sept. 1 and applies to the state’s 62 freestanding rest homes and 268 assisted living residences, as well as 85 hospice programs and up to 100,000 home care workers. It also applies to contractors who work in those facilities.

Under the plan, workers will be required to receive vaccinations by Oct. 31.

Exemptions will be granted for people with a medical condition that prevents them from receiving a vaccination or with a sincerely held religious belief.

The requirement was previously applauded by the Massachusetts Assisted Living Association, an industry group.

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