Prime Minister Andrew Holness says he believes the current health crisis empowers the government to move in the direction of issuing a vaccine directive for Jamaican citizens.
But the Prime Minister says before making such a move, the government must first satisfy the Constitutional threshold to justify what he says would amount to an abrogation of the rights of citizens.
The Prime Minister’s comments come as tensions continue to rise between employers and employees on the matter of vaccine requirements in the workplace.
Mr. Holness says the government will announce a definitive position on the matter.
As Ricardo Brooks reports, the Prime Minster appears to be warming to the idea of mandatory vaccination.
The Prime Minister says his own personal view is that the government of Jamaica has the constitutional authority to direct Jamaicans to take the Covid-19 vaccine.
It’s the first time Mr. Holness has publicly embraced the authority to require Jamaicans to take the vaccine.
The Prime Minister notes that Jamaica’s Constitution requires the government to take all reasonable steps to sensitize the people about vaccination before issuing a directive.
Mr.Holness says he has been cautious about jumping over the rights of Jamaicans.
He says his public tours are intended to satisfy any legal challenge which may arise.
The Prime Minister has been on a national vaccination sensitisation tour encouraging citizens to be vaccinated.
Mr. Holness was speaking during a tour in North East St. Andrew.
The Prime Minister says the government will announce a definitive position on vaccination.
Despite expressing his personal view on the matter, Mr. Holness maintains that the country is not yet at the point of a mandate.
The Prime Minister says he will continue to encourage Jamaicans to join the campaign for vaccination.
He says he remains confident in the people of Jamaica.