Judge Halts Boston's Workforce Vaccine Mandate for Some First Responders

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BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Tuesday afternoon, an appeals court judge issued an injunction that will prevent Boston Mayor Michelle Wu's administration from enforcing the city employee COVID-19 vaccine mandate on the members of certain police and fire unions, while a legal challenge from a coalition of three unions moves forward.

The mayor's order was that every employee working for the City of Boston needed to be vaccinated without a testing option. But Massachusetts Appeals Court Association Justice Sabita Singh made a ruling against that order after appellate review, overturning a previous lower-court judge's decision to allow the mandate.

A previous union agreement with the City had settled that unvaccinated city workers could follow a testing option, and Justice Singh concluded that Wu had no right to overrule that.

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The City of Boston said in a statement that courts have repeatedly recognized the rights of state and local governments requiring public employees to be vaccinated.

"More than 95 percent of the city’s workforce is vaccinated because of the policy we enacted. Our workers and residents who rely on city services deserve to be protected. We are disappointed by today’s decision and are reviewing it carefully," a city spokesperson said in a statement.

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