Masked man in blue shirt receives vaccine

COVID-19 vaccinations could soon be required for all home care and hospice workers in Massachusetts. Governor Charlie Baker (D) announced Wednesday the mandate would take effect October 31, if it is approved by the Massachusetts Public Health Council. 

The governor said the requirement “is part of the Administration’s continued effort to protect older adults against COVID-19” and comes a month after the state mandated vaccinations for nursing home staff. It would affect more than 80 hospices and up to 100,000 home care workers in Massachusetts. 

Massachusetts joins a small, but growing list of states requiring vaccinations for home care workers. The mandates have drawn protests at state capitals from Maine to Washington. On Wednesday, the Rhode Island Partnership for Home Care said a vaccination mandate announced last month by Governor Daniel McKee (D) could prompt more than 700 home care workers who remain unvaccinated to lose their jobs.

Massachusetts’ proposed mandate would provide limited exemptions based on medical conditions and religious beliefs.