Effective today August 20th, all members of staff with intention to renew their employment contracts at the BVI Health Services Authority are now mandated to take the Covid-19 vaccine.
This was confirmed in an official circular sent out to health professionals which now constitutes a “requirement of the covid-19 vaccinations prior to the process of renewing one’s contract for employment at BVIHSA”
The advisory stated “The BVI Health Services Authority has implemented a mandatory vaccination policy. This policy requires that ALL MEMBERS OF STAFF within the organization whose contracts will expire after 20th August, 2021 to be vaccinated for the COVID-19 virus prior to the renewal of their contract.”
It further stated “Before individuals can receive their first dose of the vaccine, employees are required to test and should be confirmed negative for the COVID-19 virus. Staff who have received a positive result must wait a period of 28 days before being vaccinated for COVID. This is to ensure that you are still not infectious and have sufficient recovery time before being vaccinated”
The policy further revealed that BVIHSA will cover the cost of administering the AstraZeneca vaccine once staff takes the jab under the Employee Health Unit. However, employees will incur cost if the vaccine is taken at an alternative health facility.
In accordance with the BVIHSA’s new mandate, persons who are hesitant of the vaccines will be required to test biweekly at their personal expense.
“We understand and acknowledge that individuals may have reservations of taking the vaccine due to medical, religious or other personal reasons. Members that are unable to take the vaccine are subject to biweekly testing, to ensure an infection free environment at no expense of the organization.”
The authority said their latest move is in an effort to prevent further loss of life and safeguard the health of all members of staff.
VACCINE HESITANCY CONTINUES IN THE BVI & BEYOND
Despite the availability of COVID-19 vaccines in the territory, many persons remain hesitant of the jab, including our healthcare workers.
This was reiterated in the circular sent out by BVIHSA.
“Despite possessing the resources and affirming the vaccine’s actual benefits as it relates to the prevention against this virulent virus, individuals still have not been as receptive as we’d hope.”
Vaccine mandates within the healthcare industry has resulted in major backlash throughout the Caribbean region.
On August 6th protesters gathered in St. Vincent & the Grenadines to demonstrate against plans to require most frontline health workers to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
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