The Police Service, of which 724 of 7,000 officers are under quarantine and 200 are ill with COVID-19, will start offering medical counselling next week to officers who are unsure about vaccinations or have concerns about their health.
Vaccinated numbers for TTPS officers are now slightly increased over figures of last December.
Commissioner of Police McDonald Jacob confirmed this to Guardian Media on Thursday.
He noted that 29 police officers have died of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.
The TTPS has been assessing officers’ vaccination statuses recently according to the Public Administration Ministry’s December 31 memo.
The Ministry’s mandate was geared toward facilitating the rollout of vaccinations at the Government Campus and Southern Academy for the Performing Arts (SAPA) in preparation for the January 17 start of a quasi safe zone in the public sector.
Under that mandate, the sector will be manned only by officers who’ve presented proof of vaccination or the appropriate exemption.
When the policy was first announced in December, the TTPS had the highest level of vaccination in the protective services – 49 per cent.
Counting so far has indicated the level is now about 51 to 53 per cent.
However, Protective Services unions opposed to “forced” vaccinations have been instructing members of rights not to disclose their medical information—which has stymied somewhat the exercise of getting the information.
On Thursday, acting CoP Jacob said nevertheless, and in the event officers are unsure about vaccination or have concerns about the state of their health, the TTPS was pressing on to assist its officers to protect themselves.
The exercise at the Police Hospital will include pre-vaccination assessment and counselling on officers’ health apart from offering vaccination and PCR testing services.
Doctors will be on hand to advise officers on any issues and the sort of vaccines available and guidance on vaccines if people have questions and need information.
The 200 officers who are down with COVID will be unable to vaccinate over the next few months.
“But we in TTPS intend to do our best to offer services to protect our officers and ensure their health so they can in turn protect and serve citizens,” he added.
He said the Police Social and Welfare Association had made 300 oximeters, which measure the oxygen levels in the blood, available to the Police Hospital to assist the drive for officers’ health.
Meanwhile, Chief Fire Officer Arnold Bristow said a 37 per cent level of vaccinations has so far been noted in that service. That’s up slightly from 35 per cent which was given by Government in December.
Commissioner of Prisons Dennis Pulchan couldn’t say how many prison officers are vaccinated beyond the estimated 35 per cent stated in December by Government since their association had warned them not to disclose their medical information.
On Monday the Prisons Service will offer officers and their families testing and vaccinations, as well as doctors’ check on officers’ health and any issues they have.