Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey (D) on March 15, 2023, announced that Massachusetts’ COVID-19 state public health emergency will end on May 11, 2023, to align with the end of the federal public health emergency. The governor also announced that on May 11 she plans to rescind state Executive Order 595, which requires all executive branch state employees to receive a primary series of COVID-19 vaccinations to remain employed by the state.
Gov. Healey said that the state has made important progress in the fight against COVID-19 throughout the public health emergency. She said, “we’ve reached the point where we can update our guidance to reflect where we are now.” Executive Order 595, implemented by former Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R), required all state employees in the executive department to receive a first round of vaccinations to maintain employment by the state.
Patrick McNamara, president of the Massachusetts State Police Association, said that the vaccine mandate led to 20 state troopers being fired or suspended without pay: “This has been a long journey for our membership. We have been seeking the same treatment as other Commonwealth employees and for our leaders in government to hear our voice. Today, the Healey-Driscoll Administration did just that with the announcement to rescind Executive Order 595.”
Twenty states, all with Republican governors, prohibit proof-of-vaccination requirements. In eleven states, governors banned proof-of-vaccination requirements through executive orders. In nine states, legislators passed laws banning proof-of-vaccination requirements.