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Council Calls for COVID-19 vaccine for all domestic and essential workers

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City Council

During the pandemic, tens of thousands of domestic workers have continued to care for children, elders, adults with disabilities and homes across the Commonwealth, including doctors, nurses, and others on the frontlines.

At work, especially when employed by health care and other essential workers who are at increased risk of contracting COVID-19, domestic workers have encountered the constant possibility of getting sick and transmitting the virus to their own families, particularly because the nature of domestic work requires these workers to be in close proximity to others with limited control over workplace health and safety. These workers are faced with inconsistent social distancing and mask use among individuals in their employers’ homes, as well as on public transit or in community spaces that they must frequent for their work.

During this week’s Council meeting, the Council adopted a resolution in support of all domestic workers and essential workers in need of immediate COVID-19 vaccine access.

A majority of domestic workers are women of color, and immigrant communities of color have been among the state's hardest hit during the pandemic, with Black and Latinx workers facing disproportionate rates of Covid-19 infection and significantly higher age‐adjusted mortality rates than white workers during the pandemic.

Nannies and au pairs were explicitly excluded from the state’s list of child care workers eligible for vaccination in Phase 2 of the state’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout and have not been included in the remaining category of essential workers that became eligible for vaccination on March 22, 2021.

This week, the Council called for the inclusion of all domestic workers, including those currently excluded from COVID-19 vaccine prioritization - nannies and au pairs - in the essential worker category of the state of Massachusetts’ Phase 2 vaccine rollout.

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