JIS News

More than 135 members of staff at the Ministry of National Security will line up to be inoculated against the coronavirus (COVID-19) at a vaccination drive on Tuesday (September 21).

The exercise, which will take place at the Ministry’s 2 Oxford Road location in St. Andrew, is being staged in collaboration with the Health and Wellness Ministry.

Spouses of staff members will also be vaccinated.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Courtney Williams, told JIS News that in addition to the 135 staff members, who will receive their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, more than 30 were previously inoculated during other vaccination drives across the country.

“Staff members have been taking advantage of the Ministry of Health’s vaccination blitz, so more than half of the staff population will become fully vaccinated within a few weeks,” he said.

Mr. Williams noted that while staff members are not mandated or being coerced into taking the vaccine, every effort is being made to protect employees and combat vaccine hesitancy as well as the spread of misinformation.

“The health and safety of our workers, their families and communities are  dependent on the uptake of COVID-19 vaccines.  This is why the Government of Jamaica continues to employ an unprecedented level of effort in encouraging public officials to become vaccinated.  This is supported through the promotion of information from the Ministry of Health regarding COVID-19 and related vaccines,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Permanent Secretary contended that with more government employees moving to become vaccinated, “we will be one step closer to returning to some semblance of normalcy, which better positions us to revert to our regular office settings”.

“I must also point out that the ministers, permanent secretaries and their immediate staff, as well as most heads of departments, have all been fully inoculated with the AstraZeneca vaccine, and this provides a sense of safety in the workplace,” he added.

As of Monday (September 20), there were 27,137 confirmed active COVID-19 cases  islandwide.

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