By Admin. Updated 5:55 a.m., Friday, November 19, 2021, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4).
Today, Friday, November 19, 2021, will be the last normal working day for some frontline workers across St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), as the government’s vaccine mandate comes into effect.
The Statutory Rules and Orders – number 28 of 2021: Public Health (Public Bodies Special Measures) Rules, 2021, gazetted on October 19, 2021, requires State workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
After today, certain categories of State workers, particularly those deemed frontline workers, will be denied access to their places of work if they have not been vaccinated against COVID-19, and fail to present a valid medical or religious exemption.
These workers include teachers, police, nurses and other health care workers, and workers at the ports of entry throughout St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Based on the rules, ten (10) days after the November 19 deadline, the unvaccinated employee would be deemed to have abandoned his/her post, thus leaving him/her unemployed.
Some workers have chosen to withdraw their services today to protest against the government’s move.
The opposition New Democratic Party (NDP), in a release issued on November 18, asked the government to withdraw its mandate, calling it “draconian”.
Some church leaders across the country have also expressed their dissatisfaction with the move.
The government, however, has maintained that an uptick in vaccination is necessary to bring back a level of normalcy to the Covid-hit economy.
The government is aiming for a 90 percent Covid-19 vaccination rate. The population of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is estimated to be around 111,000.
Meanwhile, the number of people who took at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in St. Vincent and the Grenadines has jumped by 988 since November 15.
On November 15, the number of people who took one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine was 28,255. By November 18, the number jumped to 29,243.
So far, over 51,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.