BOSTON, MA – September 2, 2021 Ethos today announced it will make COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for all of its employees. This is another step in the organization’s ongoing effort to protect the health and safety of its workforce and the elderly and disabled communities the agency serves. Ethos is the first unionized organization, of the Commonwealth’s network of 25 Aging Services Access Points, to make COVID-19 vaccination a requirement of employment for all of its staff.

The decision comes with overwhelming support from Ethos’ leadership team and the Board of Directors. Ethos is just one of a growing number of human services non-profits to require employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19. It is also now a state requirement for all home care workers who provide in-home, direct care services, staff at rest homes, assisted living residences, and hospice programs

“The past year and a half of the COVID-19 pandemic have been challenging for Ethos and the older adult community in Boston, forcing us to adapt in ways we did not think were possible before,” said Valerie Frias, CEO of Ethos “Now, after months of discussion, closely monitoring COVID-19 positive rates locally and nationally, including those of the highly infectious and deadly Delta variant, listening to public health experts, and with the support of our union, we feel taking this step is the best way to keep employees, and those entrusted in our care, safe from this deadly virus”

There is also growing consensus among service employee unions, both locally and nationally, including SEIU Local 509, that COVID-19 vaccines are the best way to keep employees, and those entrusted in our care, safe from this deadly virus.

Vaccines are the most powerful tool to mitigate the catastrophic impact that COVID-19 has had on our communities” said Peter MacKinnon, president of SEIU Local 509. “We applaud Ethos for taking this step and protecting the health and safety of our members and those who are most vulnerable to this deadly virus.”

All current Ethos employees must obtain all doses of the vaccine by October 17th so they are considered fully vaccinated by October 31, 2021. Additionally, effective immediately, all new hires, interns, and volunteers that interact with the public will be required to be vaccinated before their start date. This requirement will go into effect regardless of vaccine approval status from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Employees will be able to request a medical or religious exemption following the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), federal and state laws.

Ethos is a private, non-profit organization that is dedicated to promoting independence, dignity, and well-being among the elderly and disabled through quality, affordable, and culturally appropriate home and community-based care.  Ethos coordinates all the non-institutional home and community-based services for elderly and disabled residents of the southwest Boston neighborhoods of West Roxbury, Hyde Park, Roslindale, Jamaica Plain, and Mattapan and well as, provides city-wide nutrition services in Boston, which provides approximately 2.1 million meals for older adults, delivered to the home (Meals on Wheels) or served in neighborhood congregate settings (Community Cafés) each year. For more information, visit