Get the shot, get tested, or get a new job.
That’s the reality for more than 600 city employees currently on unpaid administrative leave over Boston’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
But Mayor Kim Janey stresses that while termination is a possibility, the goal is compliance so city workers and the public they deal with stay safe.
“We need to make sure that everyone is protected to the extent that we have employees who are on administrative leave, unpaid administrative leave, we also need to make sure that operationally that we can continue to serve the people of Boston," Janey said.
The number of city employees on leave during this first phase of the mandate has dropped from 812 to 637 since those numbers were first made public.
“The numbers are going in the right direction, which is good,” Janey said. "The goal obviously is to get as many employees vaccinated as possible, and that those who are not vaccinated will enroll in our weekly testing.”
Janey said she doesn’t have a breakdown of how many are refusing both options, but her team is continuing to work with its employees to make sure that if the issue is access to vaccines or testing, that they’re providing those opportunities.
“We are working hard to make sure that we are removing any language barriers, any barriers in terms of access,” the mayor said, “so that everyone has the opportunity to do the right thing.”
The city is offering free testing and vaccines at locations throughout Boston for its employees, as well as an hour of paid leave to get either.