Governor Charlie Baker explores ‘important’ vaccine verification options
BOSTON – It will be important for people to have an easy way to prove they’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19, Gov. Charlie Baker said on Thursday as he stopped just before saying some sort of system vaccination check would arrive in Massachusetts. .
With around two-thirds of the workforce soon to be affected by a federal vaccination or testing mandate, a growing number of sites requiring proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result to enter, and with With the market for fake vaccine cards exploding, some states like New York and Minnesota have launched free and voluntary platforms to provide digital and authentic proof that the user has been vaccinated or tested negative.
“We’ve spoken to the states that have developed this and it’s definitely something that,” Baker said, hitting the brakes mid-sentence during an appearance on WGBH Radio. “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.”
The governor pointed out to co-hosts Margery Eagan and Jim Braude that Massachusetts residents can get vaccine verification or credentials from the vendor who administered the vaccine.
“But obviously there are states and municipalities that have done something more universal than that and we talked to those people and worked on how it would work here in the Commonwealth,” the governor said.
Baker didn’t take the bait when Braude said it seemed likely Massachusetts “is going to have such a thing at some point.”
“I definitely think it will be an important thing for people,” he said. “But again, you can validate and verify that you have been vaccinated now.”
When President Joe Biden announced on September 9 that the federal government would soon require companies with 100 or more workers to require their employees to be vaccinated or undergo weekly tests for COVID-19, he sent the market illicit bogus US Centers for Disease. Control the surge of vaccination records.
The price of a fake vaccination card with a CDC logo rose from $ 100 to $ 200 right after Biden’s announcement and the number of people in a group on the counterfeit social messaging app Telegram increased from 30,000 to over 300,000, according to Check Point. Software technologies. In August, around 1,000 sellers were offering fake vaccination cards on Telegram, the company said, and there are now more than 10,000.
“The black market for fake vaccination cards has grown exponentially,” Ekram Ahmed, spokesperson for the cybersecurity firm that studies the illicit market, told Pew Charitable Trusts’ publication Stateline. “Our expectation is that the black market for fake coronavirus vaccination cards will continue to thrive as more policies requiring proof of vaccination are put in place. “
Former Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, now U.S. Secretary of Labor, is overseeing the drafting of Biden’s tenure. Asked about upcoming federal policy on Thursday, Baker said he was hesitant to comment.
“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… But we haven’t seen any details on that yet. what it looks like, ”he said. “At this point it’s all about commenting on a press release and a speech, and for something as big and pervasive and complicated as this, I’d really like to see how they think it would work, who qualifies, who doesn’t, what the rules are and everything in between.
The governor was also evasive when asked about the possibility of requiring vaccination for students in Massachusetts schools, although he suggested that the final FDA approval of a vaccine for use in young people could be a key factor in its thinking. In Los Angeles, district officials voted unanimously on Thursday in favor of a policy requiring eligible students (currently those 12 years of age or older) to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
“Keep in mind that we don’t have the capacity to vaccinate people under 12 yet and there are discussions about when that might happen. We also will not have, for children under 16, I believe, final approval on a vaccine at this time. Pfizer is approved for, I think, for 16+ years as final approval, but we’re still working with lower emergency use clearances. And Moderna doesn’t have final approval at all, it’s still an emergency use authorization, ”the governor said.
Baker added, “I think it’s important, when you don’t have some sort of final approval from the federal government, to be careful how you think about that stuff.”
When asked directly if he would consider forcing vaccines on students for whom final FDA approval has been granted, Baker said no yes or no.
“You know, I don’t know when these things are going to happen, Jim. So, in the meantime, I prefer to just focus on immunizing more children in these communities with the rules, standards and processes and procedures that we currently have in place, ”said the governor.