Booster Shots: Dealer’s Choice (and MA COVID-19 Emergency Paid Leave News)*

September 28, 2021 |

Employers who want to mandate booster shots to fully vaccinated Pfizer recipients to protect their workplace can do so. Employers who do not want to mandate booster shots do not have to do so. How the heck can that be?

As savvy readers know, the CDC guidelines are a best practice to follow and not a legal mandate. But that is not why you can choose. In the case of boosters, the CDC guidance uses terms like “should” and “may” when referring to who is eligible. This leaves room for employers to determine if the booster will be part of an overall safety plan.

Under the current CDC guidelines, frontline and other workers age 18-64 listed below “may” receive a booster of the Pfizer shot:

  • First responders, including health care workers, firefighters, police, congregate care staff
  • Teachers and support staff, including school administrators
  • Daycare workers
  • Food and agriculture workers
  • Manufacturing workers
  • Corrections workers
  • U.S. Postal Service workers
  • Public transit workers
  • Grocery store workers

-Everyone 65 or older or with underlying health issues, “should” receive the Pfizer booster (again, if they were vaccinated with Pfizer).

What to do? If you are going to mandate boosters, you can incorporate that into your current or future vaccination policy and plan. (Yes, we can help). If you want to wait and see when boosters become available for all vaccine types, you can do that too. Please note that if an employee needs time off for the booster or for recovery, that will fall into the same bucket as the original vaccine.

*MA COVID-19 Emergency Paid Leave: Governor Baker has a bill on his desk to extend the leave to April 1, 2022. Since it currently ends on 9/30/21, we expect the change to take place soon. [Insert last minute Charlie reference here.]

Questions? We can help.

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