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Vaccine

The government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines says that mandatory COVID-19 vaccination can be ordered for private and public sector workers.

Further, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, who is minister of legal affairs, said that the law allows for a person to be legally fired if they refuse to take the COVID-19 jab.

“My answer to you in relation to the current laws, both in relation to the private sector and the public sector, that you can impose the condition that if you don’t take the vaccine you may be terminated,” Gonsalves, a lawyer, told a press conference on Tuesday.

“In the case of both public and private sectors, the employer has a right to have a safe place of work, including a healthy place for you to work, an environment for you to work,” he said.

Gonsalves said this is recognised at the common law, adding, “Various statute law will bolster it but the common law is there.

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“And there is the obligation on the part of the employee to cooperate with the employer in having a safe and healthy place for work.”

The government has ordered that all unvaccinated public sector workers, as of last month, present to their supervisor a negative COVID-19 test.

Further, unvaccinated public workers have been told that they must be prepared for regular testing, up to once every two weeks.

The Public Service Union has dismissed the government’s policy as another attempt to force people to take the COVID-19 jab.

The government is lagging far behind its target of vaccinating 50,000 residents of SVG by this time; with figures released by the Ministry of Health on June 1 indicate that 20,324 vaccines had been administered — 13,902 being first doses, and 6,432 second doses.

On the issue of whether vaccination could be made mandatory, Gonsalves said:

“You see, this thing works both ways. If an employee who is vaccinated says though I am vaccinated, I can still get COVID, though reduced chances, but I don’t feel safe among persons who are not vaccinated in a close work environment because the science says and the protocols says that if you are all vaccinated, you can stay within a particular area, a certain number of you without wearing a mask because you manage the risk there, it is highly unlikely that you would get transmission from one to the next persons. So, that somebody who is vaccinated can raise the issue in a workplace where the persons are not vaccinated.”

An employer can inform a worker that they may be terminated if they do not take the vaccine, “but they have to be reasonable in terms of the notice,” Gonsalves said.

“For instance, the state as an employer, the central government, and the advice which we have received and I read the law too, is that you will give a reasonable notice period, say, listen we are planning to have persons at this or that, this work environment vaccinated and that we make the vaccine accessible to you, whether it is a two-week period you get or four-week period in which this is going to be done and if you refuse to take it, it would be considered that this is an act of misconduct.”

 Acts of misconduct may lead to dismissal, Gonsalves said.

“So a policy and a procedural step would be formally put in place for that and I am having a discussion with the office of the attorney general on precisely this issue.”

The prime minister said that the employer has to be reasonable and has to put a procedure in place.

“And this is acknowledged across all the Commonwealth jurisdictions. And I just saw the United States putting out an advisory on this very issue. We see Professor [Francis] Alexis writing about this and speaking about this in the same terms in which I am speaking about here.”

Gonsalves said that when people begin travelling again, they would not want to stay at hotels whose staff are not vaccinated, and would make similar demands regarding airport and seaport workers.

“I mean, these are critical points and I am hoping that we don’t have to come to that.  That people would see sense and take up the vaccine,” Gonsalves said.

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11 replies on “PM says gov’t, firms can demand C-19 jabs”

  1. Avatar Of Vincy LawyerVincy Lawyer says:

    One legal question:

    How can you mandate any of the vaccinations when they have only been authorized for EMERGENCY USE AUTHORIZATION?

    FACT: None have been federally approved by FDA!

    Therefore, legally the PM’s argument is void ab initio because the subject matter (vaccine) has no legal or statutory force to be mandated!

    Legal mumble jumble with no legal standing!

  2. Avatar Of Elma MorganElma Morgan says:

    What the hell! Yuh sees me crosses here now ………

    I am now beginning to see that SVG needs to have a real functioning Individual Human Rights Office. This is appalling, degrading, ridiculous and without merit. Yes, in a sense one has the right to ask employees to maintain safety and to entertain a safe environment; however, in all other jurisdictions I have not seen or read where any government entity, government ministers, health officials or others have the authority to manipulate, coerce, foist, intimidate, harass, threaten, bother or otherwise demand that the people take vaccines or introduce a foreign substance into his/her body because one feels intimidate,fearful, or forced or in any ways compelled to take such a jab. Utter nonsense and damn disgusting if I must say!

    I fully understand health policies, principles and procedures for the safety of all involved. I fully understand that there principles, policies and procedures are for safety and security, but this person still has the right also to refuse to have foreign material introduced into his/her body. I am not an anti-vaxxer. I worked in the health care fields for most of my working years, but I have the right to medically object and to not do things that are against my will or to be forced to mutilate my body. People do have rights and when we are being manipulated and controlled to react and defer and it is going to be met with resistance. The right thing to do is to allow people to come to terms and use their consciences to decide what is in his/hers best interest. At the end of the day, one does not need to be cajoled, foist upon, manipulated or coaxed to be taking vaccines. It is against the individuals’ human rights to further threaten, intimidate or punish one for refusing to be vaccinated and this matter should be taken up with filing a concern with the Individual Human Rights Organization and the United Nations.

    If and when I decide to take the vaccine it will be with a clear conscience, not against my will and because I am sufficiently educated about the efficiencies, adverse effects and the possibility that it is truly the only preventative measure. Let the truth about these vaccines be known. Start out with the truth. Educate the masses about the truth that lies with the vaccines and what could happen possibly after. We do not know what will happen in the future but to strong arm, bully, intimidate and harass people is not the right tactics for now.One can achieve more with honey than with vinegar and water!!!

  3. Avatar Of Tell It Like It IsTell it like it is says:

    This is such a load of bull crap just look at the latest cruise ship cancellation where everyone on board was vaccinated and what happen but when you have Union’s executives in Bed with the government you can expect anything.

  4. Tourists, business travelers, and international aid providers will be more likely visit destinations with higher vaccination rates.

  5. Avatar Of Justin AmbroseJustin Ambrose says:

    The people forget that they have the power in their hands, and they fail to understand if they unite together, they are stronger. Now if you every worker who is unvaccinated in every private and public sector stand their ground are they going to fire thousands of workers? who is going to carry out the jobs the businesses and departments. People use your brains and stop being manipulated. let they fire everyone, lets see how the country runs. it will be a bunch of empty offices and businesses with no employees, without you they cannot operate their businesses…know your worth and your life worth more than a job (sounds crazy) but when you die from this trial vaccine which work you gonna work lol?

  6. Avatar Of Take WarningTake warning says:

    If one get sick after taking the jab, who will take care of their hospital bills? and God forbid, if they die , will the government be responsible for their funeral cost and compensate their remaining family, knowing that the pharmaceutical companies has already distance themselves from such? I will die one day, but not from that experimental jab. As a health professional, I was recruited by an agency to administer this drug, I refused. Why should I give it to another if I am not happy to take it.

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