BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — The deadline for all state executive branch workers to show proof of COVID vaccination was Sunday, but some state employees are having trouble complying after the state unexpectedly revoked their religious exemptions.
WBZ NewsRadio's Karyn Regal reports that the state granted a religious exemption to the mandate for a Department of Corrections employee on September 15. That employee said the exemption was revoked on Friday, just days before the mandate went into effect.
The employee was told that the original request was granted before an expert review panel had a chance to look at it.
The request pointed to the use of fetal tissue in the production of the vaccines as the reason for requesting the exemption. In a letter — obtained by WBZ NewsRadio — the review panel pointed out that no fetal cells are used in any of the vaccines, and that the request therefore did not count as legitimate.
In a letter to its members, the Massachusetts Correction Officers Federated Union called the exemption process a "scandal," and saying that revoking the officer's medical exemption was "disgraceful."
A federal judge denied the union's attempt to block the vaccine mandate on Friday.
In response, the Governor's office told WBZ NewsRadio that they'll work with any employee to address questions and requests for exemptions. The Baker Administration said all Executive Department employees should come into work on Monday unless told otherwise.
WBZ's Art Cohen (@artcohenboston) has more: