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…or negative Covid-19 test
The Private Sector Commission (PSC) has expressed its agreement with Advisor to the Minister of Health, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy that there should be consequences for persons who refuse to be COVID-19 vaccinated. Furthermore, the PSC stated that it supports businesses making it mandatory for employees to be vaccinated or show proof of a negative COVID-19 test.
In a statement on Tuesday, the PSC said that it has observed with increasing concern, the growing cases of COVID-19 infections and deaths, all of which involve persons who are not fully vaccinated.
At the same time, it said that the Government has made efforts to obtain COVID-19 vaccinations towards achieving herd immunity but many continue to refuse to be vaccinated.
“The Commission endorses the position taken by the Adviser to the Minister of Health, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy, that ‘if you want to exercise a right to not take the vaccine you must be prepared to face the consequences’ and that ‘while someone has the right to refuse the vaccine those persons do not have a right to expose the rest of us to their reckless risks’,” the PSC stated.
It said further that there is extensive and growing judicial opinion within the Caribbean and internationally that individual rights do not override the collective right of the community when the community as a whole is threatened.
“The Private Sector Commission is ready and willing to support all and any action taken by our Government that will serve to protect our population from the surge of this pandemic, inclusive of a comprehensive policy to be ‘gazetted’, which will ensure that vaccinated citizens are protected against exposure from those who exercise the freedom to refuse to be vaccinated. The Private Sector Commission embraces and recommends that its member companies require that all those of its employees who refuse to be vaccinated must provide evidence of a medically current COVID-19 negative test from infection before reporting to work, while continuing to encourage all of its employees to become vaccinated,” the PSC stated.
It also urged the Government to require that all medical and security personnel in frontline contact with other persons must either be vaccinated or provide evidence of a medically current COVID-19 negative test and that all places providing hospitality and entertainment services, including restaurants, require evidence of either vaccination or a medically current COVID-19 negative test from its customers in order for them to receive service.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in North America: “The federal government does not mandate (require) vaccination for people. Additionally, CDC does not maintain or monitor a person’s vaccination records. Whether a state or local government or employer, for example, can require or mandate COVID-19 vaccination is a matter of state or other applicable law.”
As has been previously stated by Guyana’s Ministry of Health, the COVID-19 vaccination is not mandatory. However, some businesses have taken the decision to require workers to be vaccinated with failure to do so jeopardizing their employment.
Effective Monday, July 19, 2021, the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) enforced an Order that all ranks and civilians who are unvaccinated must present a negative COVID-19 test every 14 days at their own expense. Failure to do so, the GDF noted, will result in disciplinary action.
Dr. Ramsammy supports the position taken by the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, that those who refuse to be vaccinated are putting the rest of the population at risk.
Studies have shown that a person who has been fully vaccinated can still contract COVID-19 but is unlikely to die as a result or to become as sick as an unvaccinated person.
Thus far, the Ministry of Health has vaccinated over 243,000 persons with their first dose and over 128,000 have been fully vaccinated.