Directors of state-owned companies and other enterprises have been given until Oct. 15 to take a first dose of one of the available COVID-19 vaccines or quit their posts.
Unvaccinated directors can continue to hold their post, subject to medical exemption, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said in a memo on Monday.
A board can only grant the medical exemption on the basis of “an acceptable Medical Certificate provided by a medical practitioner approved by either the Chief Medical Officer or the Medical Officer of Health,” Gonsalves said in the memo.
The Minister with oversight of the Board and the Prime Minister are to be advised of a request for Medical Exemption,” the prime minister said.
He said that the second dose of the vaccine is to be taken in accord with relevant vaccination protocols. A failure or refusal to take the second dose affords the identical choice as the first dose.”
Gonsalves said that all COVID-19 protocols issued by the Ministry of Health are to be observed.
He said that the notice does not apply to those board members who are named by statute as holding their positions by virtue of their public offices.
Gonsalves said that other rules and protocols apply to these board members.
“This notice relates to those who are appointed at the discretion of the Cabinet or of the board themselves.”
He said that the decision is made within the framework “of the broad public policy of encouraging vaccination against COVID-19.”
The prime minister said that the Cabinet appreciates the service of all members of the various boards “but considers the above decision necessary and desirable in light of the spread of COVID-19.
“It is to be noted that all members of Cabinet are vaccinated,” he said.
Gonsalves first spoke of the memo on WE FM on Sunday.
“I just want to say that this morning, I drafted a letter, a memorandum to the chairperson and members of the boards of all statutory enterprises and state-owned companies and public enterprises generally, that they’ve also been given a choice to be vaccinated by the 15th of October or demit their offices so that, you know, they take their first vaccine by then, if they haven’t taken it yet. I know many of them have,” Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said on WE FM on Sunday.
Gonsalves said that all members of his Cabinet of Ministers are vaccinated.
“And I don’t see how we can have the cabinet vaccinated and we are asking frontline workers, for instance, in the port and the airport to be vaccinated and then the people who are running these statutory enterprises or public companies, not to be vaccinated. So they also have to lead by example in that regard,” he said on Issue At Hand.