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Executive Department employee vaccine mandate frequently asked questions

Learn who must comply with the vaccine mandate and get answers to frequently asked questions about it.

Please note: The FAQs below are intended to provide general responses to likely questions that might arise as employees are notified of these new vaccination requirements. These responses will be updated, posted and shared to promote full understanding of these requirements as more specifics are confirmed.

Read the press release about the vaccine mandate

Table of Contents

Who is required to get the vaccine

Does this policy apply to me?

This policy applies to any person who performs services for a Commonwealth Executive Department Agency, including full-time, part-time, seasonal, intermittent, temporary, post retiree and contract employees, and interns.

I currently telework full-time in my job. Does this mandate apply to me?

Yes.

Providing proof of vaccination and the online attestation process

I am fully vaccinated. Who do I contact to verify my status?

You can complete your online vaccine attestation at this time using this link. 

I was vaccinated outside Massachusetts or at a VA clinic or hospital. Should I still complete the attestation form, even though my records won’t exist in the MIIS database?

Yes. You should still complete an attestation if you have been fully vaccinated. HRD will contact employees who attest but do not appear in the MIIS database to verify compliance. You should secure documentation of your vaccination which will be reviewed by HRD.

I want to report my vaccination status, but I also want to be sure this information is kept confidential.

All documentation related to an employee’s COVID-19 vaccinations will be maintained confidentially and will be held separate from an employee’s personnel file.

I lost my original vaccination card. Can I get a replacement?

Yes. There are a few options to request a copy of your COVID-19 vaccination record. Visit mass.gov/MyVaxRecord to learn how. Please note, your vaccination card is not required to complete an online attestation form.

I don’t have a work email with the Commonwealth, can I still complete my online attestation form? 

Yes, you can use any email address where you wish to receive your confirmation. A Commonwealth issued email is not required. 

How will I know if my attestation was submitted successfully?

You will receive a confirmation email that your attestation was received. Please check your junk or spam folders if you do not receive it.

I do not have internet access, or I supervise employees who do not have access. Will a paper form be provided as an alternative?

Yes, paper forms are available upon request. We highly recommend you use the online form, but in the event that you cannot, a paper attestation form will be provided. Please contact your agency HR if you need the paper form. If you are using the paper form, please complete and mail back to address provided on form at your earliest convenience to avoid delays in processing your attestation.

Getting vaccinated

I need to find out where I can get a vaccine. Where can I get the vaccine near my home or workplace?

Vaccines are widely available in Massachusetts, including walk-up appointments. You can find vaccination locations near you on VaxFinder.mass.gov or contact your primary care provider.

My schedule may require me to take some time off to get a vaccine. Do I have to use my own time?

No. The Massachusetts Emergency Paid Sick Leave (MEPSL) program currently allows for employees to get time off as necessary to secure a vaccine. If you are using MEPSL time, please contact your HR office to request time off under MEPSL and in addition be sure to communicate with your supervisor regarding your planned time out of the office. If you have exhausted your MEPSL, you may utilize your sick time accruals. 

I know some co-workers who got vaccines and briefly felt ill afterwards. What if that happens in my case?

Some vaccine recipients do report some temporary after effects after receiving their shot. In the event a reaction requires any time off, this is also covered by the MEPSL.

I haven’t yet had any COVID-19 vaccinations.  Do I still have time to be compliant with the October 17 deadline?

Yes. Please schedule your vaccination immediately as time is running out to have a full suite of vaccination options available. Timelines for are clarified below:

Moderna: your first dose must be administered by September 19 to ensure your second dose can be delivered by October 17. (28 days between doses)

Pfizer: your first dose must be administered by September 26 to ensure second dose compliance by the October 17 deadline. (21 days between doses)

J&J/Janssen: you can have this dose administered any time prior to October 17. (only one dose required)

Exemptions

I understand it is possible to secure an exemption for health or religious grounds. I believe I qualify. Who do I contact?

If you believe you qualify for an exemption, please review the Process for Requesting an Exemption from COVID-19 Vaccination document and complete the appropriate request form. Those requesting a medical exemption must also fill out a Medical Release Form: 

Requests for an exemption should be submitted by October 8, 2021. 

I don’t know who my Diversity Officer or ADA Coordinator is. How can I find out?

If you do not know who your Diversity Officer or ADA Coordinator is, you can find it here: Diversity Officer Listing and ADA Coordinator Listing

When is the deadline to submit a request for a medical or religious exemption? 

To ensure we have appropriate time to review, all exemption requests should be submitted by October 8, 2021. 

Non-compliance

What happens if I elect to not get the vaccine and I do not qualify for an exemption?

Employees not vaccinated or approved for an exemption as of October 17, 2021 will be subject to progressive discipline beginning with suspension without pay. Continued non-compliance will result in the termination of employment.

 

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