Around 30% of the Massachusetts State Police force declined COVID-19 vaccines being given at agency-run-clinics, although first responders were given permission to get vaccinated two months back, The Boston Globe reported.
Many State Police employees declined COVID-19 vaccines
According to the latest data, 2,002 of 2,847 eligible State Police employees, including civilians received vaccine shots at one of the department clinics in Framingham, Plymouth, or Chicopee. The department spokesperson David Procopio said others may have received a vaccine dose somewhere else. Or they could have declined due to medical issues. The department was uncertain about the number of employees getting vaccines elsewhere, according to the Globe.
“Police officers in general, particularly today with all the scrutiny on them, I think they’re very skeptical of just about everything,” Dennis Galvin, former State Police major and president of the Massachusetts Association for Professional Law Enforcement said.
Republican Gov. Charlie Baker permitted roughly 45,000 of the state first responders for getting vaccine shots on Jan. 11. But not everyone from police officers and firefighters took part in getting their vaccines. Although both Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines are proven 95% potent with fewer side effects, there has been a doubt ever since the state’s immunization campaign began.
In Massachusetts and other regions, demand for the vaccine increased much faster than the supply available. For the past many weeks in the commonwealth, numerous immunization appointments were entirely booked soon after going online. Over 200,000 people preregistered for the state’s new system on Saturday to manage Covid-19 vaccination effectively.
The union associated with troopers and sergeants said it has not taken a position on vaccines. The union explained its 1,900 members to consult with their private doctors, according to Nancy Sterling, spokesperson of the State Police Association of Massachusetts. It’s unclear if there is vaccine hesitancy.
We don’t know if there is any hesitancy
Sterling said, “We don’t know if there is any hesitancy. There certainly could be. It’s not something we’re asking about.”
Dr. David Hamer, an infectious disease expert at Boston University believes that vaccination for state troopers is crucial as they remain closely encountered with the public.
“It would be ideal for that population to be vaccinated, both for their protection but also for the protection of people that they interact with,” Hamer said.