Somerville requires all city employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19

Somerville requires all city employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19


Coronavirus

“As a public body, the city must take its responsibility to safeguard public health.”

Melissa Walker, RN(R) administers the J&J vaccine to Joe Comperchio at the Mass General Brigham Assembly Row COVID-19 Vaccine Center in March 2021. (Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff)

Somerville wants city workers to do their part in the fight against COVID-19.

On Sunday, the city announced that it requires all full-time, part-time and temporary city staff to be vaccinated before November 1. The mandate does not apply to school staff and is still under consideration by the school committee.

“COVID-19 is on the rise again and we must use all available resources to contain the devastating effects of this virus,” Mayor Joe Curtatone said in a statement. “Vaccination is the most effective tool we have to reduce serious and fatal illnesses from this disease. To protect our staff and the public we serve, and to do our part to keep the recovery going, we require staff vaccination. We will do our best to make this easy for employees, and we will work with our union representatives to develop reasonable accommodations for medical and other exceptions.”

A city notice stated that staff must be fully vaccinated by November 1, meaning they must receive their last dose by October 18. Somerville will provide staff vaccination clinics and information about other providers.

The city said requests for waivers for medical or religious reasons will be considered on a case-by-case basis and will work with employees and union representatives on reasonable enforcement and housing protocols.

“As a public body, the municipality must take its responsibility to safeguard public health. But as our employees get their vaccines, I urge the remaining unvaccinated members of our community to act as well to protect us all,” Curtatone said. “We need you to get vaccinated to protect children under 12, to protect the vulnerable and to spare doctors and nurses the burden and grief of more COVID cases. Do this to protect your loved ones from the worry or grief that will come if you fall ill or die from this terrible disease. Get vaccinated to aid recovery. I know our community cares about each other. I see it every day in so many ways. Let’s show that by also increasing our vaccination rates.”

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