A number of leading and powerful private sector organisations are asserting that now is the time for workplaces to establish policies that require their employees to get vaccinated.

The organisations include the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica, PSOJ, along with the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce, JCC, and the Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association, JMEA.

The Jamaica Employers Federation, JEF, and Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions, JCTU, have also joined the call.

Wayne Walker reports.

The organisations and unions state that Jamaica is at a critical stage in the execution of its vaccination strategy.

They note that with less than 10 per cent of the population fully vaccinated almost two years into the pandemic, Jamaica is being left behind with achieving herd immunity, putting the nation’s recovery at risk.

The entities assert that a vaccination policy not only saves lives but reduces disruption in businesses and productivity.

They remain resolute that private sector entities must ensure a safe workplace where transmission of the virus is minimized and the lives of customers and workers are protected.

President of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce, Lloyd Distant Jr., says various companies have already started implementing the policies.

The associations say the national problem of the low vaccination rate requires more far-reaching measures.

They’re encouraging the Government to introduce requirements for vaccination to protect the public.

They propose that the Government implements vaccination policies and protocols in a phased manner for the public sector.

Mr. Distant says this needs to be done now.

The organisations assert that the social and economic impact will be devastating, and the ripple effects will continue for years to come.

Mr. Distant says the low vaccination take up should trigger the creation of these policies.

The associations would like to remind private sector companies to use the resources of the Private Sector Vaccine Initiative, PSVI, to get credible resources for their vaccination awareness programmes and to schedule vaccination for their team members.