Baker talks about proof of vaccination, welcoming Afghan refugees, on radio
Massachusetts officials are discussing with their counterparts in other states to determine how to design a universal system for Commonwealth residents to prove they have been vaccinated against COVID-19, Governor Charlie Baker said Thursday.
Baker made these comments during his regular appearance on Boston Public Radio on GBH 89.7.
“We’ve talked to the states that have developed this,” Baker told the program. “And that’s definitely something that, I mean, I just think getting to the point where there’s a relatively straightforward process for people to attest to having been vaccinated will be important for a whole bunch of reasons. . “
He noted that it is already possible to check a person’s immunization status, but the goal is to make this process even simpler.
“You can research it now,” Baker said. “You can, for the most part, you can access through the provider [with whom] you have been vaccinated, proof of validation, verification that you are currently vaccinated. But obviously there are states and municipalities that have done something more universal than that. And we talked to these people and worked on how it would work here in the Commonwealth. “
This prompted host Jim Braude to comment, “So it’s likely we’re going to have such a thing at some point.”
The governor, a former data-abiding Republican healthcare executive known for choosing his words carefully, stuck to his form in response.
“I definitely think it’s going to be a big thing for people,” Baker said. “But again, you can validate and verify that you have been vaccinated now.”
Vaccine verification has become even more urgent following President Biden’s recent tenure that all private sector employers in the United States with more than 100 workers require staff vaccination or weekly testing.
Asked Thursday about the broad mandate, Baker, who last month asked tens of thousands of state workers to get vaccinated by mid-October or risk being fired, objected .
“I’m obviously a big fan of people who get vaccinated and I’m obviously comfortable with employers creating programs for their own people to get vaccinated,” Baker said. “But we haven’t seen any details on this yet. [the Biden mandate] looks like. And I hesitate to comment on it until we actually see something “about the implementation.
Separately, Baker reiterated the state’s commitment to welcome Afghan refugees seeking refuge after the Taliban recaptured the country last month amid the withdrawal of US troops.
“There will be people relocating to Massachusetts,” Baker said. “And this is something that, as I said before, we support and want to participate.… But it is going to happen over time” in collaboration with the federal government and the non-profit organizations that help refugees .
Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, a Democrat, also signaled Thursday his willingness to welcome Afghan refugees to his state. Lamont said in a statement on Twitter that the White House has indicated Connecticut may be asked to host up to 310 Afghan refugees.
“I welcome these people with open arms to our wonderful state,” said Lamont.
Documents from the New York Times were used in this report.